The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 28, 2012

Mennonite relief sale starts Friday

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — For the 34th year, the Oklahoma Mennonite Relief Sale will sell quilts, crafts and food to fund relief efforts in the U.S. and around the world.

The annual sale will begin at 4 p.m. Friday and continue through noon Saturday. Included in the auction is Ten Thousand Villages, a seller of crafts from third-world countries, including pottery, basketry, brass items, jewelry and more. Other booths will feature holiday and wooden crafts, linens, a quilters corner and used books. Apple butter, angel food cakes, bierocks, homemade bread, bratwurst and sauerkraut, cheeses, dried fruits, ethnic foods, noodles, peanuts and popcorn will be among the foods offered. Music programs also are periodically scheduled.

The craft auction is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday. The quilt auction begins at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, and the People’s Choice quilt is expected to be auctioned at noon Saturday.

Last year, the relief sale raised $147,000, said Luella Unruh, spokeswoman for the event. Each year, the sale raises more than $120,000 for international relief efforts.

“I’ve seen some of the quilts, and some are really quite beautiful,” Unruh said. The money goes wherever there is a need: to relieve hunger, build water wells and assist with disaster relief in the U.S. and abroad.

“It goes to the impoverished and needy around the world, not just a lot of foreign countries. It has especially gone to the Appalachian area, where there is a lot of poverty,” Unruh said.

In addition to the quilts, volunteers put together school supply bags for school-age youths around the world. Those items often go to war-torn areas where children’s education has been interrupted.

Unruh said the wheelbarrow for small change, called Penny Power, is overlooked, but is an effective way to raise money. Combined with wheelbarrow donations across the country, it raises a lot of money each year, she said. That money is specifically sent to build water wells in other countries, as well as some in the United States. The sales are held at other times in other states, she said.

Area Mennonite chur-ches are contributing to the sale with preparation of evening meals and a pancake and sausage breakfast. She said different churches do different things, including making pies and homemade ice cream. They all do their part ahead of time, and everything is donated so all funds raised amount to a profit.

Lippard Auctioneers again will sell crafts and quilts this year.