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LAKE SHETEK – Summer camp is a getaway for nearly every child who has the chance to go. Shetek Lutheran Ministries does its best so that every kid has that chance.

Shetek Lutheran Ministries has multiple fundraisers throughout the year in an effort to offset the price and make the experience more affordable. On Saturday, its quilt auction made its best attempt to do just that.

“This is our 27th annual quilt auction. This fundraiser is our biggest by far,” said Marv Nysetvold, executive director.

This year, there were more 200 items donated that were auctioned off.

“There were more entries this year than I have ever seen,” said Sara Banks, quilt committee member.

Kathy Peterson is in charge of the auction for the quilt committee.

“I have been doing this for five years now. Our donations start coming in in May. Synod churches donate the quilts and other items. Then, we have a measuring day where we size all of them so that they can be included in the program. We sort the quilts by category, then set them out for the public to view. Friday night we had a preview, and (Saturday) is the auction. A favorite quilt was chosen, and I’m excited to see how much it goes for,” Peterson said.

“The variety of quilts is so interesting. It’s fun to see what is going to be the hot item,” said Wendy Meyer, one of the bidders at the auction.

To make things more exciting, the camp counselors are players in an auction game.

Each was given a dollar amount that was pinned to their back. For example, Logan Boese had the lowest amount of $5,000.

Once that money was raised from the quilts, he had to go jump in the lake. The idea was that by the end of the auction, all of the counselors would be stuck in wet clothes.

The $40,000 amount was pinned to the back of Stephanie Hovda, the program director. Unfortunately, Hovda did not end up in the lake, but the fundraiser was still a success as it raised more than $23,000.

Everyone was having fun with it and was excited about the cause. Some of the counselors were modeling the quilts and other items for the public, while others were outside playing with the children.

Caden Bloch, a Shetek counselor from Balaton, even had a fire-breathing unicorn painted on him at the face painting station.