MUSEUM OPEN EXTENDED HOURS SATURDAY
A Fordson tractor and Oliver plow on display at Heritage Hall Museum & Archives are of particular interest this week. They represent an essential element in the story of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC); an event at the Prairie Arboretum Saturday, July 10, which will be raising funds for the international nonprofit, charitable relief, service, and peace organization. The South Dakota MCC Relief Sale begins at 5:30 p.m.
Located adjacent to the arboretum, the museum is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekend afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m. But it will stay open until 5:30 on Saturday so people coming to the MCC Relief Sale can visit the museum and see the exhibits – including the Fordson tractor and Oliver plow.
Here’s the rest of their connection to MCC:
Mennonite Central Committee was formed when representatives of various Mennonite and Mennonite Brethren groups met in July 1920 in Elkhart, Ind., and pledged to aid hungry people in the wake of World War I. Their focus was on fellow Mennonites living in southern Russia (present-day Ukraine). The first feeding operations began in March 1922 and in June 1923, MCC shipped 25 Fordson tractors and Oliver plows to replace horses that had been killed, stolen or confiscated during the war.
While the original goal was to provide food for Mennonites starving in Ukraine, people soon realized that they could help anyone in need, and over the years, the mission expanded. Today, MCC works in more than 50 countries.
Events like this week’s relief sale and MCC thrift shops — including Freeman’s Et Cetera Shoppe — support the organization. According to the MCC website’s 2020 annual report, the organization spent $63 million responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice in 51 countries with 511 partners involved in 619 projects.