At this special time of year, here’s a shout-out of grateful thanks to all those who contributed to the 2014 Oregon Mennonite Festival for World Relief. We praise God for this wonderful opportunity to work together to help people in need. Through our united efforts, this year’s festival raised $128,000 for Mennonite Central Committee, with additional funds raised at the dinner concerts held this summer.
Every year, it is amazing to see this all-volunteer effort in action. It could not happen without the commitment and generosity of literally hundreds of people.
We wish we could thank each individually, but here are few we just have to mention:
The auction crew: our fantastic auctioneer Brad Caldwell and his head spotter Jeremy Gillis; the donation transport/set-up crew including Warde Hershberger, Richard Kropf, and Lynn Miller; Charlene Schultz, Joanne Mitchell, and their team of clerks and cashiers; silent auction leads (and more) Don and Judy Bacher; projection technician Jon Dilbone; announcers Dianna Eshleman, Pat Hershberger, Cynthia Hockman-Chupp, and many more volunteers.
Our quilters: talented sewers blessed with skilled fingers and artistic hearts, plus all those who helped display these handcrafted treasurers at their best, including Larry and Karen Graber, Maurice and Joan Imhoff, Jerry Barkman, Pat Hershberger, and Alice Hill.
All our generous donors, including our woodworkers. An anonymous donor made the quilt auction especially exciting this year by providing matching funds for pre-selected quilts if they reached a certain bid. More than $3,000 was raised through “blessing bids” in the auction, plus $1,000 for a pan of cinnamon rolls made by festival chairman Ron Litwiller.
Speaking of baking…
Cooks and bakers, including the incredible George and Aimee Hunt (see next page). Many of our booth leads have been volunteering for the festival for more than 20 years, such as Booney and Chanh Syravong (1,200 homemade spring rolls per year!), Gary and Brenda Burch (breakfast managers, who have donated this food), and Karen and Rich Kropf (sausage). It was a special treat this year to enjoy pozole and homemade tortillas from Comunidad Cristiana de Vida Neuva and Salem Mennonite Church.
Some extra special business partners: Fair Trade Gifts and Décor in Lebanon manages their own booth and provides invaluable promotion leading up to the event. Mennonite Village has been doing more and more: providing soups, sack lunches, the beverage trailer, extra refrigerators, storage for auction items, golf carts and volunteers to drive them. Friends from Fry Road Nursery have long run the Garden Shop. And for years, Cascade Casework (formerly Lemons Millwork) in Albany has provided storage in between festivals while Stan Boshart and his crew from Boshart Trucking and SJB Farms in Tangent provide and move the straw bales.
All our other volunteers, including store managers, children’s activity leaders, the Festival String Band, massage therapist Hannah Field, set-up/clean-up crews, and a group of 18 students from Western Mennonite School.
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