There was a circus theme associated with University of Missouri Pettis County Extension's dinner and auction, held Saturday, March 5 at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 3700 W. Broadway.

The event led off at 4:30 with a ham & brisket dinner with salads and desserts. A silent auction of donated items was ongoing, and a live auction led by Bill Taylor began at 7.

Former Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond, who has served on the Extension Council numerous times, served as emcee for the event.

Kay Sparks, who has been on the Extension Council for eight years and was the treasurer, is now off for one year.

“Extension is a program that we offer our citizens here in Pettis County. We have different programs like agriculture, 4-H, robotics, animals crafts, foods, you name it, anything that represents career opportunities. Kids can explore lots of different things and see what they like to do. And it teaches leadership, service, giving back to their communities and being a giving person,” Sparks said.

“Because we can't do it without our volunteer mentors or leaders. Our volunteers is what makes our programs grow, working with our young people,” she added.

Clover Kids are ages 5-7 and the regular 4-Hers are 8-18.

Clover Kids can show smaller animals, but not steers, Sparks pointed out. Feeding their animals on a daily basis and taking care of their animals teaches responsibility and priorities.

Saturday's event was the major fund-raiser for Pettis County Extension. “And the Pettis County Commissioners are very generous to us, and they give us money to help us run our programs for the year for the University of Missouri Extension,” Sparks said.

Master Gardner Billie Long will be available for hotline calls on Tuesdays, Sparks noted. Long solicited several donations for the auction.

Normally, the annual Extension dinner raises between $6,000 and $6,500, Sparks said.

Amie Breshears (Benton County) works in Community Development as a county engagement specialist in agriculture and environment.

Sparks credited Extension Council members with setting up and decorating for the event. She mentioned Jane Henderson, Patty Wood and Sherol Bose (county office support staff) specifically.

Livestock Specialist Gene Schmitz, was also in attendance at the dinner-auction.

For more information about the Pettis County Extension, call the local office at (660) 827-0591, or stop by 1012-A Thompson Blvd.  Or go online to https://extension.missouri.edu/locations/mu-extension-in-pettis-county.