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Cake auction raises funds for YoungLife

These cakes are so beautiful and appealing, it's hard to think of eating them too. But you can do that if you are one of the successful bidders at the third annual Hastings YoungLife Cake Auction Friday, April 23, at the Hastings Ford Dealership, 3625 Vermillion St.

The silent auction runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the live auction at 6:30 p.m. A professional auctioneer will help with this year's auction. As part of the day's activities, another $20 can be earned for YoungLife with a test drive of a new Ford (one per household). Other activities will include free food and kids' activities.

"This is a community event," said Hastings YoungLife committee co-chair Paula Weinzettel. "We want the community coming together and seeing it is for them."

The idea for the cake auction originated with the Owatonna YoungLife 32 years ago. The Hastings group thought it would a neat idea and decided to try it. The event has grown each year, with more cakes being donated and offered for sale.

Hastings YoungLife has been part of the community for three years. Brenda and Steve VanVossen (he's now the other co-chair) moved to Hastings from Virginia where they were very familiar with the group. They wanted one here, too.

"We just began talking with other parents about the group," Brenda VanVossen said. There is now a committee of parents - Jim and Paula Weinzettel, Jeff and Stacy Carlson, Judy Chandler, Julie Urban, Kim Eggiman, Christine Baum, Dawn Wigness and Mandy Wessinger - who are actively involved with young people.

"This is a non-denominational Christian organization for teens," VanVossen said. "We're talking about adults who walk along with teens; they are positive role models for them."

Cory Gibson has been the full-time director for three years, working with high school youth, while Scott Urban began a part-time position with Wyldlife, the new group at Hastings Middle School this year. Some of the money raised from the auctions goes to pay for their positions.

"Cory goes to the high school and has lunch with the students, goes to different activities and sports events with them," VanVossen said. There are also meetings, or clubs, twice a month; there is Bible study or 'Campaigners' twice a month as well.

The programs are free for the young people. The only fee is for the summer camp program, Castaways, held in Detroit Lakes.

VanVossen and Weinzettel are strong advocates for the program and encouraged by the growth shown in the past three years.

For the April 23 cake auction, people can become involved in several ways. They can provide an auction cake and a special item for the auction; they can provide a sale cake that will be sold outright for $35. They can provide a special item to raise more money as part of the auction.

They can come that day to participate in the activities, bid on cakes, and test-drive a car.

If interested in donating a cake or special item for the auction, call Laurie at 612-387-1755.

For more information about Hastings YoungLife, call Cory at 651-605-5120, or visit the YoungLife website at