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West Coast Mennonite Relief Sale and Auction

Feb 27, 2019 11:00AM ● By Emily Miranda

Such A Relief

March 2019
Story by Emily Miranda 
Photos courtesy of the West Coast Mennonite Relief Sale

THIS YEAR marks the 52nd West Coast Mennonite Relief Sale, held each April at Fresno Pacific University. The sale is open to adults and children alike, with several mini-events catered to children (the most popular being Kid’s World) along with activities for adults, including live and silent auctions. 

Preceded by a morning 5K run, the relief sale will put on a children’s scavenger hunt, an art show, a classic car display and a country store featuring Amish cheese, butter, jam and jellies, local honey, seasonal fruits, sausages and cookbooks.  There will be a variety of ethnic food including zwieback, verenika and tacos. The event features live music, homemade ice cream, fresh pies, fritters, cookies and more.  

This year’s community event is planned for Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13, with free admission and parking. 

This 100 percent volunteer-run event has drawn in crowds of people numbering up to 4,000 – quilts being the main attraction. The art of quilting may have declined in recent years, but it is no lost art to the Mennonite community. That is why so many look forward to the relief sale each year, waiting for their chance to bid on a high quality, handcrafted quilt.  This event alone expects to auction off up to 500 quilts, comforters and afghans.  

“Our event is a fundraiser for a very good cause,” says Steve Goossen, chairman of the West Coast Mennonite Relief Sale Board. 

“We are a group of Mennonite and Anabaptist churches on the West Coast working together to raise money and support for the work of the Mennonite Central Committee,” Goossen continues. That committee is a faith-based nonprofit that serves in 57 countries, aiming to bring hope and peace by providing relief kits, assistance, love and compassion to those in need. The sale raised $171,000 for the Mennonite Central Committee in 2018, and they hope this year’s sale will exceed last year’s funds raised.

The sale is looking for volunteers willing to cook zwieback, help at Kid’s World, sew a quilt, bake and sell cookies, or help set up on the day of the event. If you’re interested in volunteering, contact the West Coast Mennonite Relief Sale at (559) 232-1751 or email •

West Coast Mennonite Relief Sale: April 12-13

Fresno Pacific University, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno • (559) 360-6271 

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