Ladies work hard pre­par­ing for St. Bernard Christ­mas bazaar

The 30-an­niver­sary event is 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 4.

The Weekly Vista - - News - LYNN ATKINS

It’s the year of the owl for the women of St. Bernard Catholic Church.

The pop­u­lar­ity of last year’s penguins in­spired them so much that, for the 30th an­niver­sary hol­i­day bazaar, the craft ladies are fo­cus­ing on owls. And hats.

The bazaar will be held 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Satur­day, Nov. 4, at St. Bernard Par­ish Hall. The theme of the bazaar this year is “Take off your hat for 30 years.”

The penguins were pop­u­lar but very la­bor in­ten­sive, bazaar or­ga­nizer Patty Carter ex­plained. It was time for a change. Pin­ter­est had some cute owl pat­terns so they de­cided to go that di­rec­tion.

Plan­ning for the bazaar be­gins each year just af­ter Christ­mas, vol­un­teer Jeannene White said. She’s been vol­un­teer­ing since the early ’90s. The new year is usu­ally when the quil­ters be­gin on the col­lab­o­ra­tive quilt for the raf­fle. By March, work days are planned for every Tues­day and there’s al­ways a job for ev­ery­one.

Some of the vol­un­teers don’t at­tend St. Bernard, Carter said. They just en­joy the bazaar.

Some crafts are made assem­bly-line style, White said. One per­son may cut, an­other sew, and an­other stuff. Peo­ple choose the job they are com­fort­able with.

There’s al­ways so­cial­iz­ing, too, Carter added.

Some women pre­fer to work at home: They may come in on Tues­days only long enough to pick up ma­te­ri­als, Carter said. A few women, who travel north each sum­mer, take a project with them and then bring it back com­pleted in the fall.

Those women al­ways bring back new ideas, too, White said.

Al­most all of the ma­te­ri­als are do­nated, Carter said. Some of the women who work on crafts buy their own ma­te­ri­als, but of­ten the church re­ceives do­na­tions from par­ish­ioners who are mov­ing or whose chil­dren are clean­ing out their homes. Peo­ple who sew of­ten have large amounts of ex­tra ma­te­rial, she ex­plained, and that can be turned into a new craft.

Some­times, Carter said, the women look at do­nated ma­te­ri­als and come up with a new project. Very lit­tle is wasted. One pop­u­lar item each year is dog toys made with ma­te­ri­als that can’t be used for any­thing else. The sturdy knits are cut into strips and then braided to­gether for pull toys. Small pieces of fleece turn into cov­ers for empty wa­ter bot­tles. The cov­ers are re­us­able. Once a dog has flat­tened a wa­ter bot­tle, a new one can be in­serted into the cover for more noisy fun.

“There’s an enor­mous amount of tal­ent here,” Carter said.

This year there was an ex­cess of large pic­ture frames, so one of the vol­un­teers added a light­weight back that was painted with chalk­board paint, cre­at­ing a mes­sage cen­ter.

The bazaar used to be a two-day event, but in 1997 it was cut back to one day.

As far as any­one can re­mem­ber, there’s al­ways been food avail­able. In fact, Ann White said — she has helped with the fundraiser since 1992 — it’s al­ways been home­made chili and home­made chicken soup. The ac­com­pa­ny­ing sand­wich has changed over the years. This year it will be pulled pork. There’s also a bake sale.

When the bazaar started, Carter said that the “Trin­kets and Trea­sures” room was part of the main sale, but it fea­tured more an­tiques and col­lectibles. There are still some col­lectibles, but not as many, she said. Peo­ple just don’t col­lect things like they used to and Trin­kets and Trea­sur­ers now has its own room be­cause of space. There’s a also a room for purses and jewelry — all gen­tly used.

The crafters — there are about 30 of them — spend most of a week set­ting up for the bazaar, she said, and they eat lunch to­gether on Fri­day. There used to be a tra­di­tion of set­ting ev­ery­thing up on one day and then stay­ing for a potluck din­ner. She thinks that changed in 1994.

In 1989 the bazaar earned $3,500. This year, the goal is $25,000.

But one thing hasn’t changed — all the profit goes to char­ity. It’s di­vided be­tween some church min­istries, in­clud­ing one that sup­ports ed­u­ca­tion in In­dia, and lo­cal non­prof­its such as the Women’s Shel­ter and the Sa­mar­i­tan Cen­ter.

Lynn Atkins/The Weekly Vista

A few of the vol­un­teers pose with their cre­ations at St. Bernard Catholic Church. Be­hind them is the hand­made Christ­mas quilt that will be raf­fled. Pic­tured are Lenore Casey, An­net­tee Burk, Ronni Moore, Dianne Kro­likowski, Joan Long, Joyce Reid and Gin­nie Woolsey. About 30 women have met one day a week since March to cre­ate the prod­ucts that will be sold at the church Bazaar on Nov. 4.

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