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Making dough for charity, 1 vernicka at a time

Staff writer

More than 130 Mennonites from Hillsboro and beyond gathered Saturday at Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church to make enough verenika to feed the masses at the 2024 Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale.

The sale, Friday and Saturday, will be the 56th annual benefit for the Mennonite Central Committee. All money raised goes to MCC’s work to provide relief, development, and peace worldwide.

On Saturday, 17 people worked in the church kitchen to make verenika filling from cottage cheese, salt, pepper, and eggs.

Poured into five-gallon buckets, the mixture then was divided into ice cream tubs and taken to tables where 105 people filled verenika dough and shaped the dough into semi-circle pasties.

The pasties were packed onto Styrofoam trays, covered with plastic bags, and loaded into pizza boxes to be taken to Hutchinson in the trailer of a semi-trailer freezer.

There, the verenikas will be used to feed masses of people who attend the annual relief sale.

Karen Hiebert, who spearheaded the operation Saturday, said two committees planned and organized work in the kitchen and in the assembly room.

“This afternoon, we won’t have as many because I challenged them to be done by noon,” Hiebert said Saturday morning.

On the north side of the assembly room, dough was mixed in industrial mixers before it was cut into balls and run through dough rollers.

Dough is cut into circles before being filled.

Hiebert said the work used to be done on a weekday, but the past two years, verenika making has been done on a Saturday.

She likes that because the mothers bring their children.

“We get the kids doing what they can do,” she said.

Kids folded pizza boxes to hold the verenika, carried supplies to where they were needed, and took stacks of filled pizza boxes to the freezer truck.

Bohne beroggi, another specialty food for the MCC sale, was made Saturday in Moundridge, Hiebert said.

The sale features auctions, children’s activities, a 5K run, and food.

Hillsboro resident Alvin Hett donated a 1995 Kawasaki 900 ZXI jet ski to the auction.

He lauded the team of people making verenika Saturday. Before Trinity Mennonite Church disbanded, he was part of a team that prepared sausage for the MCC sale.

“All the people who help make verenika, that’s always a good deal,” Hett said.

He said the jet ski was the first thing he’d donated to be sold at the MCC auction.

He used to ride it at Marion Reservoir but finally got to an age at which he wouldn’t be using it anymore.

“It’s got a little wear and tear on it,” Hett said. “We’ve probably had it for 15, 18 years. My wife wanted me to sell it and we never got around to it.”

He used to volunteer at the auction, helping with bidding numbers.

“It’s usually a good time to go get New Year’s cookies,” he noted.

Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale will begins at 4 p.m. Friday at the state fairgrounds and kick off again at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Auctions will be at 6 p.m. Friday and at 8:45 a.m., 10 a.m., and 2 p.m. Saturday.

A special kids’ auction will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, and kids activities will include nine-hole miniature golf, a barrel train, and inflatables.

Donated items include a Mossman high grade acoustic guitar, a 2018 camper, a 2016 Ford F-250 4 x 4, a 1957 Cadillac Coupe De Ville, a 1973 Ossa 250cc two stroke motorcycle “crotch rocket,” a 3020 John Deere loader tractor, a 1946 Ford wrecker truck rat rod, an Amish custom-made oak roll-top secretary desk, and 240 handmade quilts, comforters, and baby blankets

Authentic German, Russian and Swiss Mennonite food and homemade burritos will be served.

More information is available on the website kansas.mccsale.org.

Mennonite Central Committee is one of the most efficient humanitarian aid organizations in the world with nearly 90 cents of every dollar going directly to where the worst humanitarian crises are.

It raises $5 million each year.

Last modified April 11, 2024

 

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