Special to 1812Blockhouse
This year we’re continuing our weekly look at unique events and attractions that are within an easy driving distance of Richland County. We call these “Summer Road Trips.” Of course, we regularly feature the many extraordinary places to visit right here in Richland County and encourage our readers to get out and experience what is on offer in our own backyard.
Today’s Summer Road Trip will take you just a few miles east on US30 to the nearby county seat of Wooster.
For 56 years, the Mennonite, Brethren, Apostolic and Amish churches of northeastern Ohio have come together to put together a festive event to raise funds for the work of Mennonite Central Committee. After a Covid-limited auction in 2020, the 2021 Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale will return in-person on August 6 & 7. The event will take place in the new air-conditioned Event Center at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Wooster.
Friday Evening Open House
Activities begin at 4pm on August 6 when the food stands open. There’s no excuse to go hungry at the Ohio Relief Sale with the scrumptious assortment of festival foods. There’s something for everyone, from the BBQ Chicken dinners and homemade ice cream to gluten-free fresh fruits or fresh squeezed lemonade. The most unique dish served may be the popular Laotian Egg Rolls, a tradition started by a local Laotian refugee family who relocated to the United States with the help of Mennonite Central Committee. Several new food items are planned for this year, including battered fish, roasted corn and a donut trailer.
A Bake Sale starts on Friday evening at 4pm with delicious home baked pies, cookies and breads. Look for the “Swiss Pantry” signs, and be sure to get there early for Lavonne’s Rolls or Lovina’s Ground Cherry Pies. Buy them early and come back to pick them up later.
On Friday evening at 6:30pm, the music program will feature the popular brother-sister trio, A Girl Named Tom. That is, unless they are picked for a major talent show in which they are currently entered! We’ll have a back-up plan in case they can’t make it.
A “Fuel-Up-for-Relief” breakfast begins at 7am on Saturday morning featuring pancakes, sausage, sausage gravy, biscuits and scrambled eggs.
August 7: There will be One Auction instead of two rings
For many years, the Relief Sale has sold in two rings, however, due to space limitations in the Event Center, in 2021 there will only be one auction. Quilts, furniture, tools and the large item donations will alternate selling approximately every half hour. The Auction will have live in-person bidding as well as secure online remote bidding via Proxibid.
Amish and Mennonite Quilts to be auctioned
Our Quilt Committee says that the quality of the quilts donated this year is excellent! You’ll find hand stitched and machine quilted wall-hangings and quilts of all sizes. They are expertly pieced and made by church sewing circles, individuals or by volunteers at Kidron’s thrift store, MCC Connections. Made with loving care, these quilts and cozy comforters are made with one idea in mind: to raise funds to help those in need.
Quilts can be previewed either at ohiomccreliefsale.org or at 4pm on Friday evening. There will again be a select number of quilts offered prior to the auction on Buy It Now. This allows buyers to purchase the item prior to the auction for a set price. These items will be available from July 26 to August 6. Any Buy It Now items not purchased before the sale will be sold in the auction on August 7. All items can be previewed on our website by mid-July.
Local Furniture, Lawn Mowers, Appliances and Hotel Stays to be Auctioned
In addition to a variety of locally crafted furniture, Special Features in 2021 include five one-night stays at the any Carlisle Inn, a Dutcher Door Garage Door, a Ferris and Skag lawn mower and a certificate from Home Appliance. Items can be previewed at ohiomccreliefsale.org or at 4pm on Friday evening. For questions on Special Features, please contact Paul Bontrager at 330-957-9925.
Online bidding will be available for all items this year. However, large items will not have a shipping option and will be indicated in the online description. Buyers will need to make arrangements for pick up.
Silent Auction beginning August 6
A Silent Auction will take place on Friday evening starting at 4pm. Guests will find anything from theme baskets to gift certificates for local hotels and stores. Some Silent Auction items will close on Friday evening, gift certificates will close on Saturday afternoon.
Learn to bid or buy it priced
While auctions are a way of life among Amish and Mennonites, it can be intimidating for auction “rookies” who have never been to an auction. No worries – help is there to guide you. Guests must first register for a buyer’s number in order to bid and are encouraged to ask questions of helpful auction volunteers if they are unsure how to proceed.
For those who prefer not to bid, several stands will have items priced to sell. Quilter’s Corner is a crafter’s dream with an assortment of donated fabrics, pillowcases, sewing patterns and vintage fabrics ready to turn into a project. The Needlework and Crafts stand features finished projects ranging from comforters and afghans to woven rugs and knitted hats. Take home a houseplant or perennial for your home from our Plant Stand.
New for 2021 is fresh produce, available at the Swiss Pantry Bake Sale stand. If you have a truck patch or overflowing garden, feel free to bring your vegetables and fruit to donate.
For the Kids and Young at Heart
Plenty of Children’s games and activities are planned, featuring the “barrel” Train and inflatables. The popular Children’s Auction returns in 2019 with toys for kids to bid on. The Children’s Auction begins at 10:30am.
A 1K Fun Run/Walk for Relief takes place on Saturday morning at 7:30am while the timed 5K run begins at 8:00am. The route is entirely contained on the auction grounds. Showers are available and the run is open to all ages. Registration is available at ohiomccreliefsale.org.
A Volleyball Tournament begins at 6pm on Friday Night in the Fairground’s track infield and will continue late into the night.
Keep the Change!
Specially designated to support MCC’s Clean Water Project is the spare change collection. Guests can save spare change (or checks and $100 bills) and drop them off at the Relief Sale collection site. Think it’s a drop in the bucket? Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised over the years for the Relief Sale’s My Coins Count project!
Funds raised benefit Mennonite Central Committee
Staffed solely by volunteers, the Relief Sale’s proceeds go to Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). MCC is the relief, service and development agency of North American Mennonite and Brethren in Christ Churches. MCC seeks to demonstrate God’s love through committed women and men who work among suffering people. MCC comes to the aid of suffering people all over the world, administering disaster relief, drilling water wells, education and building relationships in war-torn areas.
Auction items can be previewed online at www.OhioMccReliefSale.org. Information regarding entry fees for specific events can also be found on the site.
Admission and parking are free. ADA parking and wheelchairs are available. The event is held rain or shine. For more information, contact Board Chairperson, Brenda Latulippe at 330-933-6372 or [email protected]