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Abbotsford MCC Festival for World Relief

 MCC Festival for world relief

 MCC Festival for World Relief Raises Thousands!

It was a fun-filled, exciting weekend at the annual MCC Festival for World Relief held at the Abbotsford Tradex this past weekend. The annual event raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support MCC’s relief, development and peace work in more than 60 countries around the world.

MCC Festival bread

 Relief Sale Coordinator Dora Hoeppner was encouraged by the thousands of people who attended. The atmosphere was one of giving and generosity.

 “On Friday night, a gentleman bought a tool at the Garage Sale area. He returned on Saturday and told us that he’d researched the item and felt that he’d under-paid so he contributed another $300,” she said.

 Hoeppner also compiled some interesting statistics.

  • The Live Auction had some unique items including a 26-foot sailboat that sold for $23,000 and a 1980, single-owner Mercedes that sold for $5500. In total, the live auction brought in nearly $75,000.

 

  • The Bread of Life – a symbolic loaf of bread auctioned off at the beginning of both the Friday night and Saturday morning auction – brought in $172,250 from a number of bidders.

 

MCC quilt auction

  • The Quilt Auction – 30 quilts sold and raised over $30,000 with the highest selling quilt going for $3500. The custom quilt – in which the successful bidder works with the MCC Quilters to choose the colours and design of their own quilt – sold for $3000.

 

elizabeth hoola hoop

  • The Children’s Auction, in which children were able to bid on kid-friendly items, raised $1876

 

cyclathon

  • 67 riders participated in the Pedaling for Hope cyclathon which ran in conjunction with the Festival and together raised $60,000 for MCC food security projects.

 

penny power folks

  • Thousands of pennies (and other coins) were donated to the Penny Power project and are still being counted. The donations for Penny Power are matched 4:1 by CIDA through MCC’s account at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and will support farmers in Burundi.

 

MCC Festival African snacks

 

  • 19,200 vereniki were served, 1700 lbs of farmer sausage consumed, 140 large pizzas eaten and over 8000 lbs of fresh produce and grains from the Okanagan were sold. Other Mennonite food included African Snacks and Sushi!

 

  • Those who didn’t find anything to buy or bid on simply gave, donating over $92,000 to MCC’s work.

 

But Hoeppner said the stat that moved her to tears was the number of volunteers participating.

 

“We had 1180 volunteers sign in at the Festival and they were from 75 different churches, including quite a few non-Mennonite churches,” she said. “That literally moved me to tears, as I realized anew what a fantastic "coming-together" this is, being the hands and feet of Jesus in a broken world!”

MCC Festival selling stuffies

One of the more poignant moments of the Festival came on Saturday morning at the Live Auction as Auctioneer Clyde Dougans was remembered. Dougans passed away unexpectedly earlier this year; he had been a fixture for decades at the MCC Festival for 35 years and his wife Joy said this was his absolute favourite auctioning event. The auctioneers presented Joy and his daughter Jennifer Forbes with a gift.

MCC Festival auction presetation to Joy

Forbes also participated as an auctioneer on the weekend and became the first female auctioneer in the history of the MCC Festival. She said she’s grown up at the auction and had just begun to train as an auctioneer when her father died.

“Dad had bugged me for years to do this, this was his favourite time of year,” she said. “My lungs felt a little shaky (when I started auctioning on Friday night) but once I got a $5000 bid for the bread from someone I didn’t know, I knew I’d be okay.”

It will take time to tally up all the donations but the initial count is very encouraging indicating that the MCC Festival for World Relief has raised over $600,000 to help people in need all around the world. Thank you to all who volunteered, attended and gave.

Mark your calendars for next year's event: September 12&13, 2014 - See you there!