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Relief sale raises $113,000 for local, worldwide relief efforts

Arthur Graphic-Clarion of Arthur, Illinois

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A five-piece cherry bedroom set that sold for $6,100 and a quilt that brought $1,850 helped the 51st Annual Arthur Mennonite Relief Sale raise $113,500 for local and worldwide relief efforts.

According to sale chairman Willis Kuhns, attendance was down this year despite a near perfect day on Saturday.

"The temperature was a little warm, and that may have kept some people away," he commented. "We had a lot of good items to sell, and there were a lot of bidders competing for the items."

The registration desk issued 450 bid numbers, including 157 new bidders.

"People were interested in the sale items, and they stayed until the last item sold around 4 p.m." Kuhns added.

As usual, locally made furniture provided the big ticket items. A five-piece quarter-sawn white oak Empire bedroom set made by M&E Woodcrafts of Cadwell sold for $5,800. An oak banquet table with 12 leaves and 6 chairs brought $2,900. A roll top desk sold for $2,100.

A marble game made by the late Danny Miller and contributed to the sale by his sons and their families sold for $750.

The top-selling quilts went for $1,850 and $1,750. The Star Centennial Quilt made 40 years ago for the City of Arthur's Centennial sold for $500. It was donated to the sale by Jake and Ma-ranna Chupp.

Top-selling silent auction items included dinner with Jim and Patti Jurgens, which sold for $400, and a plane ride with Larry Yoder, which brought $350.

Buyers came from at least 14 states as evident by the license plates on the cars in the parking lot. They came from Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina, Kansas, New York, Alabama, Texas, and Wisconsin.

The Children's Auction was well attended and raised $942. Items included puzzles, toys, play sets, books, and other items of interest to children..

The sale began Friday evening with a barbecue chicken dinner. They served 350 barbecue chicken meals; 360 barbecue pork meals, plus over 100 pork sandwich carryout orders; 500 pancake and sausage breakfast meals; and 550 peadros.

The sale used some new technology for the first time. The image of the item being sold was projected on a screen behind the auctioneer. This provided persons in the back of the room a clearer view of the item.

Also new this year were "Blessing Bids." Several times throughout the day, the auction paused to receive bids (donations) for certain projects such as digging new wells, building schools, and so on. The "Blessing Bids" raised $3,800.

Twenty percent of the net proceeds is kept in the Arthur community for participating churches, Arthur Ministerial Association, and Amish churches.

The remaining 80 percent goes to the Mennonite Central Committee, a worldwide relief and service agency that sends food, clothing, medical supplies, teachers, doctors, carpenters, and other workers to address the needs of people in the United States and around the world.

"We thank everyone who donated items for the sale, helped in any way with the sale, and, especially, those who contributed financially to the saleNbuying a meal or purchasing an item," Kuhns said. "These are hard times for many people, but they still want to help out when there is a need. We are very grateful for that."

Copyright 2012 Arthur Graphic-Clarion, Arthur, Illinois. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: August 29, 2012

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