Haiti Benefit Auction offers deals and memories

Staff reports
Beverly Kirk with the bedroom set she purchased at last year's Haiti Benefit Auction.

One of the area’s largest charitable events is happening this weekend at the Yates County Fairgrounds. The Haiti Benefit Auction is an opportunity to support mission work in Haiti - still struggling back from last year’s horrific earthquake.

The auction is also an opportunity to make some lasting memories, like those that Beverly Kirk recently shared about last year’s auction.

Last year, she and her friend, Ronnie Baum, went to the sixth annual auction. She was looking for a book shelf,  dresser, or perhaps some assorted tables for her home on Keuka Lake.

“I found a beautiful hutch, but I also found a beautiful cherry bedroom set — dresser, mirror, bed and night table. The problem was that I needed the bedroom set for my Florida home. When I saw this set, I knew I had to have it,” she says.

Kirk jokingly asked if the set could be delivered to her home in Florida. The auction volunteers told her that of course it could be delivered, if she could wait until January, when the Florida Haiti benefit auction was held in Sarasota, Fla.

Sure enough, she was the highest bidder, and the bedroom set was wrapped up and stored.

On Jan. 21 at 9 a.m. a huge bus came to the Kirk’s street in Wesley Chapel, Fla.

“I came outside and waved to the people on the bus and they all filed out — 15 women and 15 men. Some of the men unloaded the furniture on to the driveway, and one by one, the pieces were put together and put in place.”

Soon, she had a house full of company and they were exchanging stories and sharing photos. One of the ladies from Canada said she’d like to make a quilt to go in the yellow bedroom where the set is now at home. Others invited her to visit them in New York this summer.

The next day she went to Haiti Benefit Auction in Sarasota, and although she didn’t make any purchases, her new friends assured her they’d make a delivery as far away as Ohio if necessary.

Kirk will be in the crowd at this year’s auction, which will be held this Friday and Saturday.

This is the seventh annual auction organized by a committee of local Mennonite families to benefit the people of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

What’s new in 2011

Friday night’s activities have been expanded this year to include a fish fry along with the roast beef dinner that begins at 4:30 p.m.

Miscellaneous and specialty items, such as tools, toys, plants, and household items will be auctioned Friday night beginning at 6 p.m.

The cattle auction begins at 6:30 p.m.

Friday evening is also an opportunity to check out all the items that will be sold on Saturday.

Bring your appetite

On Saturday, breakfast is available beginning at 6 a.m. The food concession is open all day, serving a variety of lunch, dinner and snack foods. Lunch and dinher features pork roast, barbecued chicken, subs, salad bar, salt potatoes, baked beans and more.

Homemade baked goods, soft pretzels and ice cream are available through the day.

All proceeds from the auction go to Haiti Missions. Other auctions are held in Gordonville, Pa., Mt. Hope, Ohio, Arthur, Ill., Sarasota, Fla., Liberty, Ky., and Shipshewana, Ind.

The auctions are a cooperative effort of churches and individuals to support relief and mission work in Haiti.