Watching the Tri-C Community come together evoked a great feeling in my heart today. It began with listening to the nonsense babble of one year olds in church. They may be part of the same day care or just think they know the other kids they see in church most Sunday mornings. Then as services began it became clear that the third grade students were going to be participants in the celebration. Two little girls raised their voices along with the adult song leader as mass began. Then two little boys read the readings for the day. After several others read the prayer petitions they then took up the offertory collection and brought up the offerings to the priest. This brings me great hope for our rural community. These are the sounds and actions of a growing energetic community.
Another set of actions and noise has been planned for several weeks. Tragedy took a nine month olds life. The parents, former community members, faced mounting medical bills. The Tri-C Community began to talk and plan. All service organizations such as the American Legion Post #464 and its auxiliaries, the Tri-C Volunteer Fire Department, the Knights of Columbus, the St. Ann’s Alter Society, the service organizations of Jefferson C-123 School and other local leaders who brought the energy and motivation to the planning table set in motion what was needed for a fundraiser.
On February 15, 2015 the Tri-C Community shined. A fish and chicken dinner was served for a free will donation. The ladies of the St. Ann’s Alter Society provided desserts. Donated desserts, unused, at the meal became part of the auction beginning at 2:30 pm. Three local auctioneers shared the auction duties as a single clerk occasionally had to ask “number please. Loads of fire wood, a donated trailer, seed corn, and soybean seed along with craft items and certificate for bakery goods were among the items donated to this fundraiser. Occasionally an item sold more than once as the buyer donated it back to the auction.
In looking at this small rural community one can sometimes ask where do you find volunteers who can keep up with a steady stream of hungry people by frying fish and chicken? Who was responsible for providing roasters of baked beans and spicy potatoes? Who made the multiple bowls of cold slaw? FFA shirts were very visible as students wove their way between tables served drinks. These students partnered with younger students with older ones handling the pitchers of tea, lemonade or water while younger student, representing other organizations, carried cups. Some of these students shared other duties such as knowing the PA system of Tri-Meadows. Where the event took place. The microphone lost power. A youth in an FFA shirt arrive from somewhere in the back with new batteries.
Does this rural area hold three auctioneers or someone who knows an auctioneer who will spend their Sunday afternoon “crying” a benefit auction? Several of the FFA shirts took up duties at the auction. They knew how to deliver sale items or certificates to buyers. They provided runner duties taking sale tickets to the auction pay table. They held up items so that all could see what was being offered. Bidders bided their time waiting for items they wished to purchase.
If one observed closely it was noted the kitchen was clean and those same people who fried fish and rustled around serving baked beans and cold slaw now sat quietly relaxing a bit before the next phase of this Tri-C Community Coming Together took place. Young men stood in small groups restless and occasionally bidding on an item, but seemed to be waiting, waiting. Buckets of soapy water waited in the kitchen for table wipe down. No sooner would the last auction cry “sold” echo than the cleanup phase would begin. Those restless young men would make short of hoisting the tables and chairs onto their storage carriers. Yes the young, middle aged and the senior citizens of the Tri-C community truly know how to come together to make things happen. This community knows how to plan and produce the leaders of tomorrow. Be it the beginning of the social babble of one year olds in church, the smell of deep fried fish or chicken, the silent work ethic of school youth or the auction cry to sell donated items. These are the energies of the Tri-C Community Coming Together in action.