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Abbotsford 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.
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.
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!”
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.
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!