It's time for one of the area's premiere quilt auctions for charity.
The Black Swamp Benefit Bazaar, to benefit the Sunshine Children's Home and Mennonite Central Committee, opens at 4 p.m. tomorrow at the Fulton County fairground in Wauseon.
The event grew out of the former Sunshine Bazaar and Quilt Auction, which raised funds for Sunshine, a nonprofit organization in Maumee that serves those with disabilities and their families.
In 2001, volunteers from Sunshine and the Mennonite Central Committee decided to merge fund-raising events, and the Black Swamp Benefit Bazaar was born.
According to bazaar information, over the course of the five previous events, more that $754,000 has been raised for the two charities.
The centerpiece of the bazaar is the main auction, featuring handmade quilts, wall-hangings, and woodcraft items donated by individuals and more than 50 area churches and quilt guilds.
Among items to be auctioned is the 2007 feature quilt, Spring in the Swamp. Measuring 97 by 116 inches, the quilt was designed by Kathie McClarren of Wauseon and Mary Clark of Sylvania, pieced by Carolyn Snyder of Pettisville, Ohio, and hand-quilted by volunteers at Zion Mennonite Church in Archbold, Ohio. More than 17 animals and birds native to northwest Ohio are represented in the design.
Tomorrow's activities include food booths opening at 4:30 p.m.,
a puppet show at 6:30, a musical performance by Sunshine residents, also at 6:30, and the opening program at 7. The bazaar closes for the day at 9.
On Saturday, a pancake and sausage breakfast and a 5K run-walk start at 7:30 a.m. (registration at www.blackswampbenefit.org); the food and merchandise booths open at 8; the children's activities area opens at 9, when the oozeball (mud volleyball) tournament starts. The main auction also begins at 9, with a children's auction at 10:30, featuring items for children ages 13 and younger.
Ten Thousand Villages, an MCC fair-trade group, will have items for sale, and collection jugs for the Penny Power project will be set up. Visitors are urged to toss in their loose change as they leave, and a major donor will match every dollar raised to support water projects around the world.
The Black Swamp Benefit Bazaar is scheduled from 4 to 9 p.m. tomorrow and 7:30 a.m. to midafternoon Saturday at the Fulton County fairground, on State Rt. 108, between U.S. 20 and the Ohio Turnpike (exit 34), north of Wauseon. Information: