The Stories These Tents Could Tell

Cyndee Fiechter Profile
Article by Cyndee Fiechter
Auction Chairperson

Pulling onto a very quiet Gateway Woods campus early on Auction day, the sun was beginning to rise, burning the dew off the grass and the lingering fog from the air, I soaked in the feeling of anticipation and excitement. The tent flaps were down, protecting and covering over 2,000 donated items for this year’s Auction. All of which would go home with generous people from Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and other states far and wide by the end of the day.

The smell of grilled sausage faintly drifted from the food area while the car parking volunteers stood ready and eager to safely direct cars into the grassy field-turned-parking lot. As families streamed from the parking lot - walking or being taxied in by golf carts - a corner of the white tent was pulled back where attendees came to claim their bidder numbers. Numbers that would be used to purchase belly-filling meals, homemade pies and baked goods, ice cream and BLT sandwiches, delicious smoothies, coffees and lemon shake-ups, popcorn, potato curls, and hot pizza. Not to mention Haiti linens, face painting, Kids Candy Shop and train rides, and Gateway Woods apparel.

The opening program - which included a testimony from a staff member, a worship song from staff and residents, and an opening prayer - still gives me chills when I stop and think back on the day. One of my most memorable events of the day was watching the Kids Korner, surrounded with yellow security tape holding back almost 100 kids. They were clutching their parents’ bidder cards or cash in little fists, hoping to grab a special item. When the security tape dropped, the mass surged forward, as they started to make their own memories at the Gateway Woods Annual Auction.

Now, the Auction is over and there are so many things to praise our God for! Those 2,000+ items were donated by you, many of you giving hours of your precious time, many of you generously spending your hard-earned money, all combined to make the absolutely perfect day – topped off by blue skies with a gentle breeze occasionally moving through the tents. One of the highlights of the day is always watching old friends from Sunday School days, young group years, college semesters, and old army buddies seeing each other again and reunited after time apart.

The 2019 Auction earned $637,134 by the end of the day including $58,000 from the Team 224 bike riders!

By Saturday evening, campus had quieted and the tents were standing all alone with the sides down again…but the stories these tents could now tell. Stories of generosity, excitement, laughter, delicious food, friends seeing each other again, and 2 lost little girls looking for their mom, knowing they were safe in the middle of several thousand people, confident that someone would find her. But the best story of all is the story told by the brothers and sisters of the Apostolic Christian Church coming together to demonstrate to the lost that we care and love them. Thanks for doing your part to make the 2019 Auction such a success and a glory to the Father! We can’t do it without you!

Cyndee is currently a member of the ACCH and was formerly the Auction Committee Chairperson.