57th annual Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale and Auction coming to Wooster

57th annual Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale and Auction coming to Wooster

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When is a sale not a sale? When it’s a festival.

That’s how the folks involved with the 57th annual Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale and Auction describe their yearly event, which will renew on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 5-6 at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Wooster.

“They’ll come back for the food,” sale board chairperson Brenda LaTulippe said of past guests. “The other normal stuff is there. Every year we have unique items.”

The sale’s policy is to sell only donated things. They are sold via auction and priced items with tags. Registration is required to bid in the auctions.

The two-day fiesta will begin on Friday at 4 p.m. with a silent auction, food stands, an artisan’s market, Quilter’s Corner and auction displays. A volleyball tournament will kick off at 6 p.m., and at 6:30 p.m., 4:12 Collective will provide music. While some may not play volleyball, it might be a good idea to bring a couple of lawn chairs and camp out near the volleyball courts, with many Amish and Mennonite teams having a ball while battling for a title. The tournament usually lasts into the night with the help of generators and lights.

The annual quilt auction is always a big draw, with dozens of crafted quilts available. Expertly pieced and crafted by Amish and Mennonite church sewing circles or by volunteers at MCC Connections, Kidron’s thrift store, these quilts bring in funds for the relief sale.

Quilts can be previewed Friday night or viewed online at www.ohiomccreliefsale.org. In addition, there will be select quilts available as Buy It Now options online, with these quilts available for purchase through Aug. 5.

Quilters, knitters and crafters may want to check out Quilter’s Corner, where all types of quilting accessories will be on sale, with accessories, finished pieces, woven rugs, knit hats and even houseplants available.

A silent auction will take place Friday at 4 p.m. Who knows what might capture the fancy of guests who can have fun supporting MCC through this portion of the auction?

Things will kick off Saturday at 7 a.m. with the Fuel Up for Sale Day Breakfast, featuring pancakes, eggs, sausage and more. At 7:30 a.m. youngsters can take part in the 1k Kids Fun Run, which will start 30 minutes before the 5k Run and Walk for Relief.

Also at 8 a.m., the artisan’s market, Quilter’s Corner, auction displays and food stands will open, followed at 9 a.m. by a live/online auction. Bidders will pursue quilts, wall hangings, locally made furniture, tools, toys and experiences.

LaTulippe said experiences in the past have been such things as tickets to a Guardians game, hotel stays and other eventful items.

At 10:30 a.m. there will be a children’s auction featuring toys for kids age 12 and under. It will be emceed by a youth auctioneer in training.

New this year on the auction front, thousands of dollars of donated gift cards will be auctioned off, so there may be some bargains to be had there, though LaTulippe said the hope is gift cards sell for more than their value, as bidders then become additional donors.

“We’ve had a lot of different gift cards before, but they exploded this year,” she said. “One thought behind them is of going to donors for things beyond physical items. If a furniture store, for example, gives us something from their showroom floor — and we will still have some of those — the same donor might say, ‘Let the customer get what they want.’”

Tickets are not sold for the two-day event, but estimates say upward of 2,000 people will attend. That generates the fourth-highest amount of dollars raised in relief sales throughout the United States and Canada, according to the Relief Sale website.

Since beginning with $3,000 raised in the inaugural event in 1966, the sale has done as much as $375,000 in a single year. That money in turn is sent to Mennonite Central Committee offices in Akron, Pennsylvania and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. From there it is sent around the globe to help with such relief needs as hunger, homelessness and natural disasters.

“We would love to get there,” LaTulippe said of the record for funds. “There’s more things to bid on this year, more things in the silent auctions and more special items this year. There are things like two collector quilts, a restored dollhouse and some unique marble roller things.”

Then there’s the food. All made by volunteers, the menu consists of everything from barbecue chicken to egg rolls to that Saturday morning breakfast.

For more information or a printable schedule, visit www.ohiomccreliefsale.org. For online bidding, go to www.ohiomccreliefsale.org/our-live-event/ and click Bidding Online near the top of the page. To donate funds or auction items, visit www.ohiomccreliefsale.org/donate/.