Brethren Auction Draws Crowds For Good Cause

Disaster Ministries Sale Hopes To Raise $200,000

Posted: May 17, 2014

Bryden Kite, 7, of Cross Keys, browses the silent auction table at the 22nd annual Shenandoah District Church of the Brethren Disaster Ministries Auction at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds on Friday. (Photos by Michael Reilly / DN-R)
A shorebird sculpture to be sold during this morning’s silent auction sits on display Friday at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds during the first day of the 22nd annual Shenandoah District Church of the Brethren Disaster Ministries Auction.
Auctiongoers line up for the oyster and country ham dinner Friday evening. Organizers hope to raise $200,000 during the two-day auction to help bring disaster relief to people around the world.

HARRISONBURG — The Rockingham County Fairgrounds were packed on Friday night as the Shenandoah  District Church of the Brethren kicked off its 22nd annual Disaster Ministries Auction.

The charity auction has raised more than $200,000 each year for the past four years, and coordinators hope this year will bring in even more.

The money raised each year funds disaster relief efforts locally and around the world. The Shenandoah District has been sending volunteers to Toms River and Spotswood, N.J., for about a week at a time each month to help rebuild after 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, according to Jerry Ruff, district disaster coordinator.

Money that’s not used for local efforts or other domestic trips goes to the national Brethren Disaster Ministries organization, which assists in relief efforts around the world and assembles and distributes health, school and cleaning kits. 

Everything being auctioned has been donated to the church. Often, that means some items are sold numerous times, said Gary Shipe, who is on the auction coordinating committee. Many people will place bids just to help the cause, he said, and one year, a pie was donated back to the auction and sold at least 15 times before someone finally took it home.

“Because people were donating to the auction, that pie ended up bringing in $1,500 to $1,800,” Shipe said.

Among the items to be auctioned starting at 9 a.m. today are a child’s playhouse, Aluma trailer, quilts, wooden furniture and crafts. A basket auction, including themes such as laundry, cooking, children’s books, summer and baby items, will take place at 1 p.m.

Baked goods, crafts and plants will be for sale today starting at 8 a.m., and a silent auction will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

There will be activities for children from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a barbecue lunch will be available starting at 11 a.m.

Contact Kassondra Cloos at 574-6290 or

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