The Press Newspaper
Sam Ellithorpe kept a steady watch on the two-shelf metal cart at the Genoa Future Farmers of America plant auction.
The Genoa High School sophomore was waiting for the auctioneer to swing by the station to sell off the cart. But this wasn’t just any cart. This was his cart. He made it in class for the sale but really didn’t want to give it up.
“His grandpa had his eye on it too. I said, ‘You’re not really going to bid against your grandson are you?’” Sam’s mother Gwen Ellithorpe chuckled. Nope, Sam snatched up the cart for $55.
His winning bid and all the rest collected Saturday for flowers, plants, trees and furniture forged at the hands of Genoa FFA students go back into the program of the western Ottawa County school district. Some of the pieces ranged from an octagon picnic table and wheelbarrow planters to a heavy-duty metal coat rack. Flowers and plants ran the gambit from roses and petunias to the elusive firegrass.
“I love it but I just wonder how I would get it home,” Lauren Scheanwald said as she stood beside a large potting bench punctuated with real branches crafted by Caden Cruickshank.
Scheanwald, an intervention specialist at Genoa High School for the last six years, was one of about 60 to 75 students and community members braving Saturday’s chilly temps and sporadic rain at the high school campus to support the high school program. They laughed at the auctioneer antics and thought seriously about how the plants would fit into their spring landscaping plans.
Five of Scheanwald’s students participate in the agriculture-related program.
“They were very excited about these things they made,” she said. “They loved this aspect of it. This is the fourth-quarter for them. I am very proud of them.”
“They do some great things for the kids in this program,” she said, scanning a wagon full of flowers that could help add some dazzle to her poolside planters this summer.
Carolyn Matthews begins plotting her new landscaping early in the season. “We do a lot of planting,” she said.
So she put her cash behind the program that has helped develop the skills of her granddaughter Sierra Peacemaker. “She seems to really enjoy it,” Matthews said.
“It’s been fun,” said Peacemaker, who plans to move onto Penta Career Center to enter its landscaping program.