The Star Democrat

American Legion hosts holiday craft sale

- BY TOM MCCALL tmccall@chespub.com

DENTON — American Legion Caroline Post 29 was chock full of crafts for sale the first weekend in November. A lot of it had a Christmas theme, like painted pine cones and tree trimmings to the max. There was also a patriotic flavor to the proceeding­s exemplifie­d by Jim Gifford’s barn wood American flags. He substitute­d shell casings for stars.

There was also a ton of food to be purchased. Hot dogs, hamburgers and funnel cakes were pouring out of the kitchen. And there were whole tables filled with baked goods like a rolled up holiday yule log cake and strawberry and whipped cream delight and cherry-slathered cheesecake. The cookies alone were a sight to behold.

There was even more action in the kitchen. A crack team of volunteers was pouring drinks, searing hot dogs, and a gate keeper kept track of every purchase with her metal box.

Squeals could be heard from the raffle ticket winners that were announced over the tinny loudspeake­r. Of the 30 vendors who set up tables and arranged their wares on vertical boards or walls, they each gave their wares to raise money for the Legion. Everyone seemed to be in a giving and festive mood. Masks were optional for this shopping trip.

Charlene Pool was an active participan­t. She said, “I bought some towels, kitchen towels, and I bought a Christmas wreath. I am going to keep shopping. I am going around.”

“I think a lot of people want to shop locally rather than go to a store. You won’t believe people are already putting their Christmas trees up. I do all floral creations. I do anything from cemetery grave blankets to Christmas wreaths with lights, decorated Christmas trees, lighted snowman,” said Joanne Wooters of Denton.

Donna Howeth, president of Post 29 Auxiliary, won a wooden cross in the door prize raffle. “We have been doing this quite a few years. We usually go pretty good,” said Howeth.

Joanne Weis, who organized the event, guessed that 300 people would come to Saturday’s event. She relied mostly on word of mouth to get all those people to come.

“We sell food, homemade crab soup, chicken noodle soup, chicken salad, funnel cakes. As far as items we have stained glass, flower arrangemen­ts, Amish woven rugs, and we have a lot of Trump articles, like hats. To the left we have Jim Gifford. He made all these wooden signs out of old barn wood. We have a great silent auction, which is donated by almost all the businesses in Denton. A lady donated a condominiu­m in Ocean City for a three-day getaway. We’ve already collected $800 on that even before the show. It all supports our veterans,” said Weis.

“We do this every year, and it is always the best food, because it is all homemade and freshly cooked. Don’t miss out; look at those fries,” said Elsie Edwards. She had a cooking apron on.

The chefs were busy in the grill and fry stations.

“I got delegated — voluntold. We do the burgers, the hot dogs and the french fries. The ladies make the soups. Tomorrow morning we will start with breakfast sandwiches,” said George Hudson of Preston. Scott Ogilvy was busy making burgers.

Jim Gifford, retired firefighte­r who got sick from his service on 9/11, weaves stories out of antique barn wood.

“As I drive around, I will see an old barn being torn down, and I get a little history of it. I like to back up my pieces with a little bit of history on where the wood came from. One time in Winchester, Virginia, I found an old barn that they were burning to put a new home in. It turns out the barn was built pre Civil War. This guy’s ancestors had two sons. One fought for the North, and one fought for the South, and both were killed in Gettysburg. So when I got home I made him a half American flag, half confederat­e flag joined in the middle. If this wood could talk, can you imagine the stories it would tell,” Gifford said.

There was a lot of creative energy spent to make this a successful event.

 ?? PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL ?? These are the background workers that make the event work. From cooking crab soup to organizing door prizes, the event is made from their efforts.
PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL These are the background workers that make the event work. From cooking crab soup to organizing door prizes, the event is made from their efforts.
 ?? PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL ?? George Hudson, in green, and Scott Ogilvy are making burgers, hot dogs and funnel cakes. Hudson said they got “voluntold” to man the kitchen.
PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL George Hudson, in green, and Scott Ogilvy are making burgers, hot dogs and funnel cakes. Hudson said they got “voluntold” to man the kitchen.
 ?? PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL ?? Petie Borsh bought some serious baked goods. She said, “I call it strawberry lusciousne­ss.” There were lots of different sweets for sale.
PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL Petie Borsh bought some serious baked goods. She said, “I call it strawberry lusciousne­ss.” There were lots of different sweets for sale.
 ?? PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL ?? Jim Gifford isn’t just a wood worker. He sources all of his wood from old barns and tells the wood’s story with each patriotic creation.
PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL Jim Gifford isn’t just a wood worker. He sources all of his wood from old barns and tells the wood’s story with each patriotic creation.
 ?? PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL ?? Elsie Edwards, with glasses, shares a laugh with Joanne Weiss in the kitchen. Although they were busy, there were moments of levity among the crew.
PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL Elsie Edwards, with glasses, shares a laugh with Joanne Weiss in the kitchen. Although they were busy, there were moments of levity among the crew.

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