The 54th Annual Mennonite Central Committee Relief Sale had a special purpose this year. The event raises money for ongoing relief efforts to help Ukrainians.
The Hutchinson Relief Sale is one of many across North America with donations used by global relief organization MCC to provide water, food and healthcare to people in need. in more than 55 countries.
Last year’s MCC sale was held in July instead of the usual April and the sweet German Mennonite dessert, which looks and tastes more like a donut, could not be made due to intense heat in the trailer where they are fried.
People patiently lined up in many buildings on Friday night to get their favorite Russian-German and Swiss Mennonite dishes, including verenike, sausage, bohne berrogi, borscht, homemade bread, zwieback and pies.
In the Meadowlark building, visitors walked in and out of hanging quilts on display Friday night to see which one they would like to buy at the quilt auction held on Saturday. As Carol Zehr Ewy walked around admiring the quilts, she was surprised to find one that had her Aunt Lucie Zehr’s name embroidered on one of the quilt blocks. She looked closer and found more family and friend names on the comforter. The quilt’s information sheet indicates that it was given to Vi Zehr King in 1934 and was donated at auction by her daughter Jan King Kauffman and Nancy Shear.
In the Domestic Arts building, artists Janet Regier, Grace Adam and Miriam Goertzen-Regier demonstrated how to make Easter eggs, called pysanky. They create pysanky by hand by decorating eggs, using the traditional Ukrainian method of using beeswax and colored dyes.
In addition to Saturday’s quilt auction, which sold over 200 quilts and related items, there was a general auction, a silent auction, a children’s auction, a memorabilia and a surplus auction. Other items sold were cars, tractors, lawn mowers, craft items, garden plants, souvenirs, baked goods, cheese and meat.