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Holiday sales allow churches and organizations to raise money

Sunday, December 6, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CST; updated 4:15 p.m. CST, Monday, December 7, 2009
Shirley Farrah, left, views decorative church mice displayed by Kathy Digges at the St. Nicholas Bazaar on Saturday morning. The church mice's popularity had shoppers waiting in line to enter the foyer where the mice were sold. "Limit two until everyone gets through the line," Digges told customers as they browsed.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled the coordinator's name.

COLUMBIA — Charitable bazaars are garnering holiday customers — and money — in Columbia.

Several churches and organizations hosted sales this weekend to raise money. The sales allowed residents to buy gifts at low prices and give to charity.

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The Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia's Arts & Gifts "Wow" sale

The church sold fair trade hot chocolate, coffee, tea and chocolate, which member Marianne Erickson said made the sale unique.

It included pottery, blankets, knives and books. Vendors sold crafts at booths and gave 40 percent of their proceeds to the church, which will use the money for general operating expenses.

Church member *Allie Gassmann* said the sale wasn’t very busy, but she predicted business would pick up Sunday with church services and a potluck lunch.

Blankets and clothing items made by the Juan Pablo Segundo Cooperative were also for sale. Jassmann said the proceeds go to people in a fair trade sewing cooperative in Honduras, who made the items. The church took a service trip to Honduras last year and members plan to return, said Jassmann, who is co-organizer of the trip.

Wilkes Boulevard United Methodist Church's 33rd annual Holiday Bazaar and Cafe

People lined up at 7:15 a.m. to get into the 8 a.m. sale, which featured crafts, ornaments, jewelry and baked goods. Meals could also be purchased at the cafe. All items were donated and handmade or used.

Money raised will support the church in various ways, including paying utility bills and the pastor’s salary, lay leader Susan March said. She said she hopes this year will be the most successful sale yet.

Pat Quint shopped for Christmas ornaments and jars. “It’s a good place to spend money for a good cause,” she said. She added that she’s trying to spend less money this holiday season, and the bazaar offered her bargains. 

Calvary Episcopal Church's 66th annual St. Nicholas Advent Bazaar

This bazaar has become well-known for its sale of handmade mice, which sold for a minimum price of $25.

People waited in line to buy the mice, which nearly sold out in the first hour. Crafts, baked goods, books, candles and other gift items were also for sale.

All the money raised will be donated to city outreach programs. Church members made or donated the items.

Church members Chris Marshall and Margrace Buckler volunteered to sell crafts they made.Their children and a Sunday school class helped make the crafts.

Discounts were offered for young shoppers.

“We want to give the message that it’s better to give than receive,” Marshall said.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church's holiday bazaar

Baked goods, arts and crafts, books and jewelry were for sale Friday and Saturday. A silent auction and a drawing for cash prizes and a quilt were also held. Items sold were donated or made by church members.

Doris Crites, a co-chairwoman of the event said the bazaar was busy, especially on Friday. The tables overflowed Friday, but goods were sparse 24 hours later.

The money raised will go toward reconstructing the rectory into meeting rooms and classrooms, Crites said. She said the church held several fundraisers this year, but the bazaar is its biggest and raises the most money.

Carolyn Randazzo said she attended the bazaar with her daughter because it has unique items at good prices. “It’s good support for the parish and community,” Randazzo said.

The Delta Phi chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha's 18th annual Christmas Crafts Bazaar

A member of the service organization, Karen Franke said members hold many fundraisers for groups like the Central Missouri Food Bank and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Vendors who sold items kept their profits but paid fees to have a booth. Members of the chapter also had a few booths with baked goods and crafts.

Wanda Lynn was a vendor at the event selling a variety of goods she made, including ornaments, purses and blankets.


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