Fundraiser to support ‘Guate Mission’By Stephen Dawkins Published 9:43pm Thursday, May 16, 2013
A mission team from Clanton First United Methodist Church will try to make a difference in Guatemala that will extend beyond their time there.
Those participating in the effort, dubbed “Guate Mission” because locals refer to Guatemala City as “Guate,” hope money raised Friday will help them help a Guatemalan pastor, his wife and seven children when they visit from July 26 to Aug. 2.
A spaghetti dinner and live auction will be held Friday to raise money for the mission.
Tickets to the dinner, which begins at 6 p.m., cost $10 each and are available at the church or at the door.
Lacey Ellison will provide music to accompany the dinner, and the auction will follow at about 7 p.m.
Tommy Glasscock organized the fundraiser. He said he’s seen charity auctions bring in a lot of money and hopes Friday’s event will help the mission reach its goal of $10,000 to take for improvements to the Guatemalan pastor’s living conditions and other needs in the area.
Items already donated that will be auctioned include a small boat, an antique bed, jewelry and slabs of ribs.
Those interested in donating items for the auction should call the church at 755-0490.
Glasscock said auctions work well as fundraisers because people have the opportunity to contribute in two different ways.
“People can donate their own items or bid on somebody else’s,” he said.
Guate Mission has already raised about $4,000.
The six-person team includes Ron and Nancy Dovey, Stanley Batchelor, Tom Cuthbert, Rose Kennedy-Utendahl and Frank Mims. Others from outside the church could participate and should call CFUMC if interested.
In July 2012, the Doveys visited an area of Guatemala City known as “the tracks” because makeshift homes are built on out-of-use railroad tracks. They left with a conviction that they wanted to return to help.
Ron and Nancy Dovey said they were struck both by the living conditions—the local pastor and his family live in a 200-square-feet space that is formed by walls of bent and rusty tin nailed to a wooden frame—and the people’s faith.
“We went to church at 10 o’clock and got out at 2 o’clock…but we didn’t realize we had been there for four hours,” Ron Dovey said.
The trip will also be about evangelism, of course, and the team brings other assets. Batchelor and Kennedy-Utendahl, for example, are registered nurses.
“Needs change daily,” Dovey said. “We want to be versatile.”
Batchelor, who works for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, said he’s sure it will be difficult to leave after a week, knowing there is much more that could be done.
“I’ve worked federal disaster response, but to go into an area like this and kind of have your hands tied, it’s going to be a different story,” he said.