Two weeks ago, the Haiti Benefit Auction was held in Sarasota, Florida. These happen every year in a number of Amish/Mennonite areas to benefit the people of Haiti. Here’s a mission statement from the PA Haiti auction website:

This is a cooperative effort of many churches and individuals to bring relief to the hungry, sick, naked, and homeless of Haiti. Our ultimate goal is to bring them to Christ through providing for their physical and spiritual needs. Relief is given throughout the country of Haiti without regard to race, religion, or creed.

Benefit auctions like the Haiti events are one way some Amish participate in outreach beyond the local community.  The Florida auction is traditionally the first of the year.  A reader who was present shares:

 Two auctioneers had fun at the tail end of the auction by taking turns selling items.  You notice the difference in high-pitched voices and low-pitched voices that way.  I think they went faster, too, almost on the gallop.  One time [one of them] started selling an item and told [the other] to finish selling it.  Sometimes one started selling before the other had quite finished up, maybe both talking at once.  It drove the clerks crazy, but it woke up the audience.  The clerks had a hard time keeping up.

And:

The new amount of proceeds for the HBA is now more than last year’s…The highest quilt sold for $1,700, which was the same as a unique child’s rocking horse that moved forward as the child rocked.  When I asked the doughnut makers from Greenville, TN, how many doughnuts they expected to make (beforehand), she said, “Oh, a couple thousand.”

The event also included barbecued chicken and 700 pounds of catfish to keep all bellies present full.

In the video below, you’ll see an auction preview with some of the items displayed and the setup going on (with shots of a “perpetual motion” device, favorite entertainer John Schmid, and what looks like a half-acre food tent).

There is also some pretty nice auctioneering going on at the end, by a bid caller known as “Mr. Speedy”. What else do you notice in this video?

2013 Haiti Benefit Auctions

If you’d like to attend one of the Haiti Benefit Auctions, the 2013 schedule and location information is as follows (updated with previously missing dates and changes to the PA & KY dates and KY location):

Florida Haiti Benefit Auction – January 19, 2013 (next auction: Jan 18, 2014)
Sarasota County Fairgrounds,
3000 Ringling Blvd.
Sarasota, FL 34237

Kentucky Haiti Benefit Auction – May 18, 2013
205 Tress Shop Road
Trenton, Kentucky 42286

Indiana Haiti Benefit Auction – May 25, 2013
Shipshewanna Antique Auction Building
345 N Van Buren St.
Shipshewana, IN 46565

New York Haiti Benefit Auction – June 15, 2013
Penn Yan Fairgrounds
Old NY 14
Penn Yan, NY 14572

Pennsylvania Haiti Benefit Auction – July 20, 2013
4092 Old Philadelphia Pike
Gordonville, PA 17529

Ohio Haiti Benefit Auction – August 31, 2013
Mount Hope Auction,
8076 SR 241
Millersburg, OH 44654

Illinois Haiti Benefit Auction – October, Oct. 26, 2013
Otto Center
2058 CR 1800 E
Arthur, IL 61911

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