Mennonite Relief Sale brings goodwill (and garage sales!) to thousands
by Ken Ogasawara
Kitchener Citizen
May 11, 2023

​Every year, thousands descend on our community for the annual New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale that will once again be filling the New Hamburg fairgrounds with the scents of delicious food, the calls of excited auctioneers, and the chatter of friends old and new.

​An added bonus is the dozens of garage sales that pop up to add to the fun of this annual event.

​To date, over $14.4-million dollars has been raised through the relief sale for the relief, development and peace work of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) since the sale’s start in 1967.

​This year’s sale will start on the evening of Friday May 26 and finish on Saturday May 27 in the early afternoon, or whenever the food and auction items sell out.

​Speaking of auctions, this year will feature no less
​than three different auctions with donations from generous businesses and individuals in the community. A couple of big-ticket items include a 1970s John Deere tractor and an antique Massey Ferguson 65 tractor restored by the North Easthope Antique Tractor Breakfast Club.

​“Maybe I’m being optimistic, but I’m hopeful the pair could raise $15,000,” says club chair John Mohr.

​“Because it’s for a good cause, people are generous.”

​And, of course, the famous Quilt Auction on Saturday morning will see over 200 beautiful quilts, designed, created and donated by quilters from across Ontario.

​This year’s feature quilt was created and donated by the North Woolwich Sewing Circle - a stunning masterpiece measuring 102” by 105” with precision and craft that is second to none. The quilt, called “Soda Lite Cabin” was put together by 25 quilters and led by Karen Martin who is chair of the North Woolwich Sewing Circle. The quilt is on display in the lobby of the MCC office at 50 Kent Avenue, Kitchener until the sale.

​Of course both days will feature mouth-watering delicacies of both traditional and non-traditional Mennonite origins like falafels, sausage-on-a-bun, spring rolls, BBQ chicken, apple fritters, cream buns, and more pies than you can count.

​KidZone will have fun for the kids with the always popular face painting, Junior Peacebuilders Makerspace, Scavenger hunt, St. John Ambulance therapy dogs, and more.

​Saturday morning will feature another mainstay of the relief sale: the Run for Relief which is a run (or nature walk) at 2k or 5k distances. More info on how to register and fundraise at

​John Reimer, chair of the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale, is grateful of the efforts of so many people who pitch in to make this event possible every year.

​“We could not do it without the tremendous support of the organizing team, the many businesses who generously donate products and services, our over 2,000 volunteers, quilters and churches. Thank you all!”
For News Tips & Advertising call...

Kitchener East - 519-578-8228
Kitchener West - 519-394-0335
Left to right: Don Kaster (donor), and North Easthope Antique Tractor Breakfast Club members Calvin Schmidt, John Mohr, Ron Neeb, Joe Detzler in front of the newly restored Massey Ferguson 65.
This year’s feature quilt “Soda Lite Cabin” by the North Woolwich Sewing Circle. Submitted Photos