The annual Elmira Charity Quilt Auction is ready to go for its 41st year with more than 100 quilted items, a silent auction, and a live auction all in the name of a good cause.
The quilt auction brings in between $25,000 to $35,000 each year for Elmira District Community Living.
Elmer Brubacher, co-chairperson of the auction committee, said there are usually about 120 to 135 items. Most are quilts, while some of them are wall hangings, pillows and carpets.
“If we can get $1,000 for a quilt we’re happy,” Brubacher said. “It used to be $3,000 a quilt. We have seven lots of quilts and so we have seven auctioneers. Every lot has a feature quilt. Those feature quilts, they usually bring $850 to $1,000.”
He said there are usually around 500 different people bidding at the auction, plus children and other people there for the other events. He estimated 800 people will come out on October 25.
“The popularity is we’re doing it for a good cause,” Brubacher said. “It’s operating to help clients with special needs. People do really well to donate items. We have a big silent auction and the silent auction consists of things that come from businesses throughout Waterloo and Wellington counties.”
EDCL has been helping people with intellectual disabilities in their families for 51 years. Brubacher says the organization began because there was nothing in the area for children with special needs. Parents were becoming concerned as their children aged.
“The first person that really ran into a problem, they put him into the public school system and the principal said ‘we can’t handle this guy, he needs special help.’ That parent got together with other people and the principal and said couldn’t we do something for these children?” Brubacher said.
From there Guiding Light School, which is now Life Skills, was born. Later on those kids grew up so they added the ARC. He said the ARC is like a learning work centre. From there they started building group homes.
“So now we’re in a situation where we need repairs for these buildings, we need special vans with lifts,” Brubacher said. “All of that stuff takes money and that’s where they got the auction go.”
The quilts can take up to 100 hours to make, depending on how complicated it is and how small the squares are.
He said years ago when the economy dropped, quilt prices dropped too and it never quite recovered.
“As a chairman I would not be on this committee if it wouldn’t be for the clients. My heart goes out to the clients,” Brubacher said. “I was on the board for six years and I’ve been with this auction for close to 15 years and for me and my wife both, the only reason we do this is because our heart goes out to these people we’re serving. We want to help out where we can for their sake.”
On Friday night there will be a barbeque beef brisket dinner with a silent auction, including new children’s furniture, children’s toys, and sports equipment, to name a few. It runs from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the live and silent auctions starting at 7 p.m. The quilts will also be on display for the next day’s auction.
There will also be a giant bake sale and a live auction with home, garden, and farm items on the day of the auction. Monetary donations are also welcomed and tax receipts are available.
The quilt auction will be held at Riverdale Poultry Express, 6811 Church St. W. from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on October 25. The live auction begins at 9 a.m., followed by the solid wood furniture auction at 11 a.m., and the quilt auction at 12 p.m.
For more information visit www.elmiraquiltauction.com.