The Mennonite Centre Committee (MCC) is shooting for $700,00 again at this weekend’s relief auction, which starts Friday at Tradex in Abbotsford.
Generally, the top-earning auctions have raised more than that, but with the economic downtown, last year’s auction slipped below that high-water mark.
“It’s a great, fun event, and we have a huge attendance,” said Dora Hoeppner, relief sale coordinator.
The funds go toward MCC’s work with people suffering from HIV and AIDs in Africa as this year’s focus, but the agency also continues with food and water projects to address famine in Africa.
The event will have some new features combined with favourites from the past. An electronics auction is new this year, and will take place on Friday from 7-8 p.m.
All of the technology items sold will be in new condition.
The event will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, and in addition, there will be a children’s auction from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday will begin with a pancake breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m., and the regular auction begins at 9:30 a.m. The doors will close at 2 p.m.
It will begin with the ceremonial auctioning of a loaf of bread, which last year sold for $159,000. Another popular feature is the auctioning of traditional, hand-made quilts.
People also attend for the entertainment and food. After last year’s event, Hoeppner said the event went through 25,000 vereniki (cottage cheese perogies), 750 pounds of farmer’s sausage, and so many porzelky (raisin dumplings) that it took 800 pounds of flour and 400 pounds of raisins to make them.
In addition to popular Mennonite fare, the food court will feature food from Africa and Latin America.
MCC operates 52 relief sales across North America, and Abbotsford’s is one of the biggest and most generously supported.
On Sunday at 2:30 p.m., the weekend’s festivities will come to a close with the Festival of Praise at Emmanuel Mennonite Church.