Ivanhoe grows pie for local non-profits

Residents of Ivanhoe and surrounding communities gather to bid on pie, raises over $14,000 for Ivanhoe’s Boys and Girls Club, American Legion and Lions club

IVANHOE – On Sunday Nov. 20, a barn full of people gathered to have an evening full of community, food and a pie auction.

What started off as a few farmers planning a birthday party almost 30 years ago, has turned into a community event to raise money for three local organizations: Ivanhoe Lyons, Ivanhoe American Legion and the Ivanhoe Boys and Girls Club. This year, the Pie Social raised upwards of $14,000 through a live pie auction, silent auction, a raffle and donations. 

“It was just a very fun, successful night of people donating towards good causes,” Henry Simon, Ivanhoe Lions Club member said. “Besides being a little chilly, it was a really fun night.”

The event is free to those who wish to participate and took place in the Richie Barn, the same location where it began three decades ago. This year 31 pies were auctioned, many of which were homemade, ranging from cherry to bourbon to kentucky derby to apple with homemade toffee crust. There was even a batch of cookies with a diamond necklace up for grabs. Several pies came in decorated baskets with additional goodies inside. The bidding for a pie began around $50 and some increased to nearly $600, averaging around $340 a pie. Before the auctioning began, a traditional rib dinner was provided by the Happy Cooker catering.

Dustin Stewart is a member of the Ivanhoe Lions and currently serves on the board of directors at the Boys and Girls Club of the Sequoias. He said throughout the years, he has seen first hand the beneficial impact the event has had on the Ivanhoe community.

“I have been fortunate to attend this event for many years and when the old guard decided to take a step back it was an honor to be a part of the group that stepped up to keep this event going,” Stewart said. “It is true Americana at its finest.”

Stewart said the Ivanhoe Pie Auction was started several decades ago by a group of giving people who saw a need in the community. The event continues to provide good in the community through the three organizations it supports, and the total amount received is split evenly between them. 

One of the founders, Larry Williams said that in 1995 he and a couple of other coffee drinkers were sitting around one morning and decided to throw a birthday party for one of their friends. When the friend passed away before the party, the group decided to have the event regardless, just altered a bit.

William said the first pie auction raised $1,587 and from there the event has taken off. Each year it happens in the fall, and the date is already set for next year, Oct. 22, 2023. 

“It doesn’t matter who puts it on or how it got started, it’s just a good thing and it [allows] everybody to be part of supporting their community,” Williams said. “You want to pay 300 bucks for a pie and people will laugh at you, but you’re part of a movement in the community to do good work.”

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