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  • Writer's pictureGera Schultz

35th Annual Quilt Auction is One for the History Books!

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

On July 29, over 500 quilting enthusiasts, collectors, friends of Carol Joy Holling Camp, and the wider community came together to appreciate the artistry and craftmanship of more than 500 quilts and quilt-related items.

Despite the forecast of scattered morning rain showers, the team at camp got to work early

to set up for the Quilt Auction. As guests started arriving, it became apparent that the rain was going to be heavier and more persistent than expected. At that point, the quilts went back into the trailer to protect them from the moisture and the guests went into the

Swanson Retreat Center to keep dry.

This isn’t the first time the Quilt Auction has been delayed due to rain, but as the morning

wore on, the rain got heavier and the forecast deteriorated. Mid-morning, the NLOM team

made the difficult and unprecedented decision to move the Quilt Auction indoors

The live auction was moved to Town Hall, which entailed setting up hundreds of chairs for guests, dozens of tables for displaying quilts, relocating the sound system, and laying out more than 300 quilts and items that were included in the live auction, as well as relocating the concession and lunch stations.

Across the bricks, inside Annie’s Dance Hall in Hotel Theodore, a few dozen more tables were set up to accommodate the 200 quilts in the silent auction, as well as an area for

the cashier booth.

Meanwhile, Quilt Auction guests patiently waited in the Swanson Retreat Center, enjoying coffee and conversation while they stayed warm and dry.

At 11:30 a.m., after a two-hour rain delay, the 35th Quilt Auction finally started in its temporary Western Town location. This year’s selection of quilts did not disappoint, featuring many vintage quilts alongside newly crafted works of art. Brightly-colored modern designs stood out while guests also reminisced on some beloved traditional patterns.

More than 200 individuals and groups donated quilts crafted by over 300 different quilters. In addition to viewing and bidding on quilts, guests enjoyed pulled pork and a selection of salads and fruit for lunch, made use of the lakefront and swimming pool during the afternoon sun, and took a spin around camp on the hay rack after things had dried out a bit.

The Quilt Auction team, consisting of year-round staff, Summer Ministry Team, and

volunteers, was able to quickly pivot and solve logistics problems to get the auction components moved to their new locations.

Guests were patient and generous throughout the day, showing the team so much grace as they navigated this new setup. The auctioneer team ramped up the bidding action and was able to push through all the quilts by 5:30 p.m.

As the day wrapped up and totals were tabulated, over $115,000 was raised to

ensure campers can continue to live out their faith at Carol Joy Holling Camp. Next year’s Quilt Auction will be held on Saturday, July 27 rain or shine, but we hope for shine!

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