A big thanks to everyone who had a part in our “Breaking Down Barriers” fundraiser for the Mennonite Central Committee on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at the Valley Community Presbyterian Church. Special acknowledgements should go to Canadian musicians Kim Thiessen and Darryl Neustaedter Barg and storyteller Abe Janzen for first-class entertainment and inspiration. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear them if they are ever in your neighborhood! Highlights from the evening include:
– Veteran pie guys Gary Hagen and Troy Lubbers and first-time cake ladies Carol Friesen and Anya Klaassen displayed an impressive combined display of baking and promotional skills.
– Anita Toews generously donated a week’s stay in her Colorado mountain home, resulting in a $2,700 contribution to MCC.
– Six tickets for next week’s Minnesota-Wisconsin Border Battle football game netted another $1,400.
– South Dakota auctioneer Steve Hopkins served as an enthusiastic and inspirational host.
– Hors d’oeuvres provided by Kafe 421 put guests in a very mellow mood to donate.
This evening-of-entertainment proved to be a very effective replacement for the traditional relief sale that we held for fourteen previous years. With a few donations still coming in, adding to the current total of approximately $37,000, we are very close to our goal of $40,000. This format had far less overhead costs compared to putting on a day-long event, and because of that we will be able to make a significantly larger contribution to MCC than we did last year. Credit for that goes to the generosity of the approximately 100 persons who attended.
This first-time event was successful enough that we plan to repeat it in a similar format next year. We welcome suggestions on ways that it could be improved, and we are also looking for other types of events that would provide a combination of raising awareness, fostering a sense of community, and raise some funds for MCC’s world wide work of relief, development and peace-building in the name of Christ.