At any given moment there is an auction going on or about to happen somewhere in Amish America. Amish auctions are social events, fundraisers, and a chance to buy goods at a decent price–and often all three rolled into one.
Amish auctions are plugged in various ways–in local publications, Amish newspapers, flyers, word-of-mouth. If you’ve ever been to an Amish auction, you know the festive atmosphere, tantalizing food aromas, and electric cadence of the auctioneer’s call. It’s no wonder they are well-attended events.
These bidder’s-view shots are shared by a reader who attended a benefit auction held in the Arthur, Illinois Amish settlement. This auction, now discontinued, had a special purpose. More from the reader:
These were taken at a benefit auction in Arthur, Illinois for the annex schools in 2008. Annex schools were developed to provide an educational environment for those students who are unable to keep up with the rest of the class. It would be similar to a Special Education program within a public school context.
In Arthur the annex schools share the same facility as the regular Amish school, they just sit in a separate area and have at least one dedicated teacher. Not every Amish school in Arthur has an annex school, but many do.
To raise funds for the annex schools the community would host benefit auctions. These were suspended in 2009 as the community felt it was more appropriate to raise funds though the church districts rather than hosting a benefit auction.
When I see an Amish-made quilt, I often think of how many man-hours (or, better put, “woman-hours”) went into making it. I’d imagine the stitches went faster knowing your handiwork was going for a good cause.
Have you ever attended an Amish benefit auction? What was your experience like?
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