Fairgrounds to host Miami Valley Haiti Auction March 17-18


By Matt Clevenger

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TROY — The Miami County Fairgrounds will host the 14th annual Miami Valley Haiti Auction on Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18, with all proceeds going to benefit ministries in Haiti.

“We’ll have everything from small hand tools and things like mulch, gravel and firewood, to art quilts, handmade items and wood items,” auction organizer Zac Rice said. “There’s a shed this year.”

Other items up for auction will include toys, event tickets, furniture, bicycles, a chainsaw and a Coleman gas-powered mini-bike. Auction items are donated by local businesses and community members, and the proceeds are donated to local ministries in Haiti.

“It doesn’t matter if they drop it in a donation bucket or if they bid on an item, every dollar goes to those ministries,” Rice said. “Everything has been purchased and donated to the auction, and then every bit of the proceeds is sold and sent.”

“It supports three different ministries,” he said. “One focused on medical needs, one focused on the churches, and one supporting vocational training. Those are the three things that we are specifically supporting.”

The auction works with local native churches in Haiti to support schools and student sponsorship, church-building, operation of an orphaned children’s home, personal evangelism, disaster relief and operation of a medical clinic.

“There are local pastors that they have known for anywhere from 10 to 30 years, that they work directly with down there,” Rice said.

The auction will be held in the Duke Lundgard Building at the Miami County Fairgrounds, starting on Friday, March 17 with a chicken dinner at 5 p.m. and the annual children’s auction starting at 7 p.m.

“That’s always fun,” Rice said. “The children’s auction is available to any child under the age of 12, that the parent’s willing to hand a bidding card to.”

“The children are very generous, with their own and their parents’ money,” he said.

The auction will open with breakfast at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, followed by the auction starting at 9 a.m. Lunch, including whole-hog pulled pork, will be served at 11 a.m.

Food will also be available by donation throughout the event. More information can be found online, at www.haitiauction.org.

“There is plenty of food available on both Friday and Saturday,” Rice said.

The Miami Valley Haiti Auction is organized by a group of several local churches. It was originally started in 2010 by the Cornerstone Dunkard Brethren Church located near Covington.

“Cornerstone is the church that started the auction, so we run it through our organization,” Rice said. “It is not at all just a Cornerstone event; there are a number of different churches that attend it, support it, give to it and serve food.”

The first Haiti Auction was held in response to a catastrophic earthquake that struck the area in 2010, while a group of 12 to 15 local missionaries were there.

“We had a church mission group that was heading down there,” Rice said. “They landed, and about a half-hour after they landed the Earthquake of 2010 hit.”

“It was just a pretty horrendous event,” he said. “The team that was there just served medical needs, and came back and said we need to do something to help the ministries that are on the ground down there. About eight weeks later, they held the first Haiti Auction.”

Since then, the annual event has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist Haitian communities.

“We’ve been running about $75,000 per year, the last couple of years,” Rice said.

“It’s an open invitation,” he said. “There are people who support it almost every year. Every year we have people who’ve never heard of it before show up, and it’s a good time.”

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