There won't exactly be any pigs on this ranch, but there will be plenty of food, quilts, music and prizes at Minot's 4th annual Pigs 'n a Blanket dinner and quilt auction tonight at the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, Dakota Memorial School gymnasium, located at 6301-19th Ave. NW.
The event starts with a quilt preview from 3 to 5 p.m., dinner from 5 to 7 p.m., and the live quilt auction at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will include roast pork, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, buns and desserts, with music provided by Christian band elevenAM, fellowship and door prizes. Dinner tickets will be sold at the door for $7 per person and $15 for families of three or more. Children age 3 and under get in free.
Last year, attendance for the Pigs 'n a Blanket event was about 320 people, according to Carla Trittin-Isom, public relations director for the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, and are anticipating more people this year. "This has become a community event that people look forward to," she remarked. "It's a feel-good event." Last year, Trittin-Isom said, the event raised more than $7,000 and thought it would be great to raise $10,000 this year. All of the proceeds go toward the program and helping at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ, which is also the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch mission statement.
Linda Janich, left, and Carla Trittin-Isom, right, both with the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, hang up a quilt for display for the auction for the 4th annual Pigs ’n a Blanket event.
Some of the door prizes being offered include gift cards, toys recipe books, and hotel stays, to name a few. "There is something for everyone," said Trittin-Isom. "The prizes run the gamut and businesses have been very generous in helping with this event."
Planning for the Pigs 'n a Blanket event never stops, Trittin-Isom noted, and people never stop donating quilts. They have about 100 people who help at the event, she said. Staff volunteers, family volunteers, and other volunteers from the community all help with the event. Also, they have designated volunteers who will bid on quilts for someone if he or she can't be there, Trittin-Isom added, and people can just come to the dinner and not bid on anything.
There will be 118 quilts from nine states in the auction, Trittin-Isom said, that were donated from churches, people and guilds. The kids at the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch are really moved by the quilts, too, she noted, since the quilts are made for their benefit by people they don't know.
Trittin-Isom said the challenge they have recently faced for the Minot Pigs 'n a Blanket event has been that it might outgrow the gym on the Minot campus. They may have to look at finding a different venue and maybe hold the event on a different day, she also said.
The Pigs 'n a Blanket event was the idea of president Gene Kaseman when he wondered if people would give quilts for a live auction about 10 years ago, Trittin-Isom explained. The pigs part of the name came in because Kaseman wanted to serve pork, she added, and Trittin-Isom thought the "pigs in a blanket" would be a catchy name. "The pigs part is the food and the quilts part is the blanket."
The hope for this event is that people will learn more about the kids who are involved at the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, erase stereotypes and see that the kids aren't bad kids, and realize that God cares for everyone, Trittin-Isom said. "It's a family-friendly event so no one has to worry about hearing bad music or being bullied. It's fun for everyone."