Helping those most in need, the Mennonite Central Committee is once again holding its Festival for World Relief on Friday and Saturday at the Tradex in Abbotsford.
“This is my favourite thing that we do every year. It is a celebration of giving,” said Angelika Dawson, communications writer with MCC Abbotsford. “People just come and have a good time and they give out of that joy. It’s joyful giving.”
Money raised will go to where it’s needed most throughout the world, said Dawson, adding this year’s goal is to raise more than $700,000 for food, water, education and health projects around the world.
The 43rd annual MCC festival has something for everyone, from great food, entertainment and craft booths to live and silent auctions, a kids’ area and much more.
Children of all ages can take part in their own auction on Friday night, and bid on kid-friendly items, from toys and books to electronics and hockey tickets. They must bring their favourite grown-up with them.
The auction on Saturday kicks off with the symbolic loaf of bread, which every year brings in upwards of $100,000.
One of the unique highlights is the famous Mennonite Quilt Auction, which starts at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Local women have worked on the quilts for a year and the finished products will be on display for viewing Friday night.
Bring your loose change to the Penny Power Booth, where all contributions to the coin drive are matched four-to-one by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and will support farmers in Laos.
Every year tens of thousands of dollars are raised from the loose change people donate, said Dawson.
But without question, the biggest draw may be the well-stocked food court, with vereniki (Russian perogies filled with cottage cheese, topped with a cream sauce and a side of farmer’s sausage) being the most popular item.
“When the doors open Friday at 5 p.m. people just make a beeline for that,” said Dawson. “People should come and check it out. It’s open to everyone.”
Festival hours are Friday from 5 – 9 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Tradex, 1190 Cornell St., next to the Abbotsford airport.