By Lorie Ham
On April 14-15, 2023, the West Coast Mennonite Relief Sale and Auction Celebration for World Relief hopes to finally be back to normal with people coming together in person to support the work of the Mennonite Central Committee and have a great time! Due to the pandemic, during the last three years, they have had two online auctions and a one-day sale. The first ever sale was held on June 30, 1922 in Reedley California, but for over thirty years the event has taken place at Fresno Pacific University. West Coast Mennonite Relief Sale Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible charitable organization.
According to this year’s chair for the event, Steven Goossen, Celebration for World Relief is a group of Mennonites, Mennonite Brethren, and Anabaptist churches on the West Coast working together to raise money and support for the relief, development, and peace work of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). MCC shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ.
A lot goes into preparing for this big event each year. Planning for this year’s event began in September of 2022. “We meet once a month but are actively planning all year long until the sale starts in April,” shares Steven. “Though our event happens only once a year, there are still details to work out.”
The board is made up of fifteen members but they are always in need of volunteers to help. You don’t have to be a board member to get involved with the planning of the sale or on the day of the event itself. “Volunteers are always needed to help; many hands make the work light, as the saying goes,” continues Steven. “Join us; it is fun and a satisfying time.”
Steven encourages everyone to attend the event. “There is plenty of food, great desserts, and more. You can bid on a quilt in a live auction or, if you’re shy, bid in the silent auction. There’s an early morning 5k run/walk, or you can join the kids in a scavenger hunt. There’s a Country Store, an Art Show, and all the Used Books you can read. What’s more, [there will be] a Tagua tent, music on the Green, and additional activities. Then, there’s always time for a reunion: family, MCC Alumni, or just friends. It happens once a year so don’t miss it.”
Feel free to contact Steve Goossen at 559-360-6271 if you want to help with the 2023 sale. You can learn more about MCC on their website, and watch for updates on the 2023 event on the West Coast Mennonite Relief Sale and Auction website. “You will be helping us and supporting MCC in their mission; to help those in need in the name of Christ.”
West Coast Mennonite Relief Sale
April 14 & 15, 2023
Fresno Pacific University
1717 S. Chestnut Ave
Fresno, CA 93702