By: Aimee Brasseur
The 47th Annual Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale is this weekend. Visit the Rockingham County Fairgrounds for two days of fun that support a great cause…people in need! Interested in the schedule of events? Look no further.
Friday, October 4th
- 4-8:30PM Baked goods and booths open
- 4:30-6:30PM BBQ Beef Dinner or Numerous Other Options and Music to Dine By (by donation)
- 6:30PM Relief Sale Dedication Service and Special Music
- 7PM-9PM Live Auction Begins and Silent Auction Tables open
Saturday, October 5th
- 7-10:30AM Breakfast (by donation)
- 7AM Marketplace Opens
- 8:30AM Fourth Annual 5K Race for Relief Run/Walk
- 9:15AM Welcome: MCC Story
- 9:30AM Live Auction continues
- 10AM Children’s Auction
- 11AM-1:30PM Lunch – Chicken BBQ and more
- 12PM & 1PM Silent Auction Close
- 3PM Relief Sale Ends
And here’s a handy dandy link to a Relief Sale map too.
“Each year, thousands of volunteers come together to raise money at Relief Sales for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) for the relief of suffering in the world. MCC works at home and with people around the world to ease oppression, poverty, and conflict. They lead natural disaster relief efforts, community development and peace work in more than 50 countries.” (Mennonite Relief Sale website)
Enjoy crafts, an auction, baked goods, BBQ chicken, music, and more. There will be activities for the entire family! So be sure to come out and visit. Derik, Laura, and Aiden will be there!
When I asked Derik about the weekend’s festivities he said, “I’ve been helping at the VA Mennonite Relief Sale as long as I can remember. It’s when we stock up on apple butter, cider and quality valley time. Aside from the disaster relief (the point of the sale); I enjoy catching up with old friends, the auction, and of course the food. My dad is in charge of the chicken, so I’m sort of partial to that, but for as long as I can remember, we get there at 3am to start making chicken. We always get fresh donuts too.”
Jeremy and his family have volunteered in year’s past as well. This year he will be away at a real estate conference, but the event is one that’s close to his heart.
Jeremy said, “My relief sale experience and memories span 3 different states and have always been an annual event to which we look forward with anticipation. Growing up in northern Michigan, we would always go to Fairview, MI the night before the sale and set up the tent and camp as a family for the weekend. We would then get up early and help with the sausage and pancake breakfast. I remember feeling like a real big shot helping the grown-ups make pancakes and being included in the process.
Then we moved to Pennsylvania and saw a whole new and much larger Relief Sale at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. I believe this is the largest one held, and it is all indoors. My favorite part of that one was the pies…..I have eaten a whole Shoo-Fly pie at one sitting. My Dad was on the PA Relief Sale board for several years so we were always tasked to help where needed.
Now, having been back in the Valley for a while, it has been fun to see the different traditions and highlights like the amazing donuts. I have helped with the breakfast and learned very quickly to get there early or risk standing in line for a long, long time to get grub. The past couple years, I have been away at an annual Real Estate Conference the same weekend, but I always send our daughter Sydney with my parents so she can build some of the same great memories that I have from years past. Whether you have any ties to this Mennonite tradition or not, it is truly a great time for the whole family and the proceeds go to a wonderful cause…….check it out!”
This wonderful event is made possible thanks to the volunteers in our community, the Relief Sale planning committee, and the event sponsors. Comment below if this is one of your favorite Valley events! We’d love to hear from you. You can also like VA Mennonite Relief Sale Facebook page, and join the conversation there.