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Joah Stalter, 7, of Eureka, picks out a bag of popcorn with his 4-month-old sister Jovie and their mother, Mindy, on Saturday during the 60th annual Illinois Mennonite Relief Sale at the Interstate Center in Bloomington.

BLOOMINGTON — The Illinois Mennonite Relief Sale took in more than $250,000 in gross income for its March 16-17 run, according to preliminary figures.

More than 8,000 people attended to the two-day sale, which had a theme this year of "60 Years of Relief Sale Ministry.”

Eighty percent of the net proceeds will go to the Mennonite Central Committee, a relief and service agency based in Akron, Pa., that serves underprivileged people in the United States and 56 other countries. The other 20 percent will distributed to organization in Illinois that help the needy through food pantries and other services.

Final figures for the gross and net incomes will be available later, said Ruthie Roth, executive secretary of the sale.

Roth, who has been involved in the sale since its start, said, “We had big crowds both Friday nights and Saturday, despite the weather not being very nice.” She expressed thanks for those who showed their support by participating through their attendance and as volunteers.

Friday's fish and chicken dinners and Saturday's pancake and sausage breakfast drew large crowds.

As usual, the auction also was a big draw. It included 135 quilts, wall hangings and an afghan, said Roth.

Many of the quilts were king and queen size. Three sold for $2,000 or more at the auction, she said.

“The crowds at the auction were very good. The chairs were filled,” said Roth. “It's fun to watch. It was nice having auctioneers from Arthur.”

Although the sale is over, work related to it is not complete.

“Right now I'm working with the treasurer and doing inventory and putting things away,” said Roth.

It can take a couple of months to wrap things up, she said.

“We just give the glory to God,” said Roth. “We are deeply grateful to God for his faithfulness and many blessings.”

Roth said the relief sale board appreciates everyone's “continued partnership, support and prayers for Relief Sale activities, MCC and the recipients of funds in our continuous outreach ministry to alleviate suffering.”

Follow Lenore Sobota on Twitter @Pg_Sobota

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Education Reporter

Education Reporter for The Pantagraph.

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