44th annual Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale coming April 13-14 to state fairgrounds

Mark your calendars; the 44th annual Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale is April 13-14 at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson.

The annual festival and benefit auction, organized by about 70 Mennonite, Brethren in Christ and Amish congregations, features for sale quilts, foods, crafts, garden plants and trees and antique tractors and cars, a new mower and a four wheeler.

The event is one of more than 35 relief sales that take place annually across the U.S. and Canada. All proceeds from the sales are used to provide for basic needs and community development across the globe. Some of the proceeds can be used to help supply vegetable seeds and water filters and develop fisheries that provide income and food for families and communities. According to Mennonite Central Committee numbers, it only takes $10 to supply a gardener with seeds in Chad in Central Africa; $32 to provide families with water filters for clean drinking water after disasters; and, $41 to help fill a fish pond in India.

The Mennonite Central Committee works in partnership with local agencies throughout the world. It has a long history of addressing natural disasters and issues relating to food security and food injustices. It also helps work as an advocate for just trade and fair economic polices.

In past years, the sale has generated between $400,000 and $500,000.

The sale often draws people from across the Midwest.

“We continue to get some absolutely fantastic antique cars and tractors,” said Jerry Toews, a board member of the sale in a press release. Toews assists the general auction by overseeing the donations of antique tractors and cars. He makes sure each vehicle is ready for auction.

Often, the two biggest draws at the relief sale are the auctions and the German buffet.

The five auctions are:

•  A quilt auction, featuring more than 200 hand-crafted quilts and quilt related items.

•  A general auction featuring a 1948 Packard, 4 door with straight 8; a 1950 Chevy DeLux, restored; a 1948 Allis-Chalmers C; a 1945 Model B International Harvester; a 1953 John Deere B; a 2006 Kawasaki Prairie 4 wheeler; a New Hustler Sport ZTR Mower donated by Excel Industries, Inc., Hesston, tools, antiques, and various handcrafted Mennonite furniture and children’s toys. Specific times for auction of more expensive items will be listed on the web site,

•  A silent auction featuring KU memorabilia and golf package.

•  An auction for children featuring games, dolls, and toys. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

•  A surplus auction of unsold items from booths.

The public is invited to attend the sale. Admission and parking are free.