PALMER — In a room full of stompers, steppers and swingers, Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy didn’t have to move an inch to steal the show Saturday evening.
That’s because the pair of large, hand-made dolls were the centerpiece of a package that drew a whopping $350 winning bid in the annual Paws and Taws Pie Auction at the Salvation Army. The event is the largest fundraiser of the year for the local square dance club and shows off the creativity of members who donate homemade pies as the centerpieces of various themes. The Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy were the centerpiece of a Wagon Wheel Package that featured a mixed berry pie and a two-hour ride in the famous Radio Flier car owned by Judy Foster and Fred Keller.
But it was the dolls that drew Sherry Anderson into a bidding war with friend Dwayne Cejka. The pair volleyed back and forth as the price rose to more than double the next highest package, a $155 bid for a fishing themed package.
“I wanted the dolls,” she said. “They’re so beautiful. I didn’t even know about the ride, but that’s wonderful. I’ll have to take advantage of that, too.”
Asked if she harbored any ill will toward her friend for pushing put the price, Anderson said no. It’s all for a good cause, and anyway, “He’s my ride home,” she said.
“Well, not anymore,” Cejka quipped before they hustled off to start another square dance.
For Paws and Taws, Saturday’s pie auction drew a large crowd of Valley regulars and dancers from neighboring clubs in Anchorage, and the bidding was fast and furious for many of the uniquely themed pie packages.
Like the Hawaii Pie-O package, which featured a traditional apple pie (it fetched $75); the Alaska Gourmet Pie bucket, which included a rhubarb pie and five kinds of Spam nested in an old 5-gallon bucket ($45); the Party Night Basket, a raspberry pie with a bottle of raspberry vodka, chips, salsa and movie ($60); the Fisherman’s Delight, which included a rod and reel with the walnut pie ($70); and the Treasure Hunt, a mysterious box with a key and a back story that promises “the adventure of a lifetime” to whoever buys it, along with a tasty rhubarb pie ($125).
Along with the auctioned pies, attendees also downed a lot of pie to fuel their dancing and put a little extra tap in their toes. And the consensus on which type of pie goes best with square dancing? Well, there wasn’t one.
Lois Feaster, one of the club’s mainstay members, said she prefers a traditional apple pie. But her son and caller Gary Feaster said lemon meringue is the way to go.
In the end, the club raised a cool $1,210 from this year’s pie auction.
Contact reporter Greg Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-2269.