Bazaar Results and Appreciation

Our aspiration was to offer our most successful holiday bazaar ever – and it seems we did – in every meaning of that word! Congratulations and thanks to our whole People’s Church community, staff, and friends! We did it – together.

This year brought many new faces and facets to the Bazaar, and it showed, and it worked.

Dolores Strom joined the leadership team with Rochelle Habeck Hunt and Melissa Emrich, and brought her mighty talents and ethic of care to all we did. Her creative problem-solving and innovative thinking sharpened up our operation in so many ways.

Rachel Harms took the helm for Publicity, having never even seen this event before! With teammate Rick Johnson’s good will and generous help, and talented support from Melissa, we freshened up our PR materials and strategies. And with the support and efforts of many People’s people, we added the yard sign brigade and extended our outreach to get the word out better than ever.

Sandy Steele had a vision to redo our café on a scale and in a space we could manage, bringing back this beloved tradition and good food to host our artists and volunteers. With teammate Donna McClurkan and with your assistance and contributions, the mini-café was a huge hit and a welcome respite for all.

Emily Sipsma led the way to recruit our most diverse collection of artists and vendors ever, with help from teammate Rochelle. The artists’ feedback was highly positive about our sense of community, the great food and service, the friendly atmosphere and their overall experience here, thanks to you all.

Our inimitable Chef Bob Fredel ran 7 consecutive weekends of pasty-making, developing new recipes and guiding teams of volunteers in preparing a tasty variety of over 600 pasties to sell as our best-known specialty. There are never enough pasties to meet the demand! (So next year, we need more helpers to join in!) Martha Beverly and her well-trained Swedish Limpa Bread bakers pitched in to meet the growing demand for this fragrant and flavorful sweet bread. This year, we also recruited volunteers to make large quantities of our most popular cookies as new “People’s Favorite” specialty items (Jeff’s Ginger Cookies, Diana’s Peanut Butter Cookies, Eric’s Sesame Cookies.)

Lori Rupe steadfastly and capably led the way coordinating People’s Specialties, the area of the Bazaar that sells your donated handmade goods, with help from Rachel Chadderdon-Bair. Due to your many delicious and beautiful contributions of baked goods, jams, and handmade crafts – including those made by our RE specialty class kids – we reached our highest earnings ever from your creations. The tables were dwindling by 11 AM! (So next year, everyone should make more of what you made this year, and ask more people to join in!) Lori also planned and held our first ever raffle, which was brilliantly done. We raffled off three baskets filled with a variety of artwork very generously donated by our artists and beautifully displayed with creative help from Colleen VanSlambrouck and Diana Lundquist, which added significantly to our earnings.

We also had tremendous help from the hard working volunteers who came out to move furniture with Tim Keiffer and Dolores during Monday Madness; from Catherine Niessink, Gary Heckman, Gary Leadley and our Buildings and Grounds volunteers who readied our facility for the event; from Rev. Rachel and her team of gracious greeters who set the tone for all who came; from the cashiers and finance team calculating from start to finish, led by Dolores and Barb Davis; from the driving team who ran the shuttle like clockwork all day long; from those of you who staffed our sales tables or helped in the kitchen; and the cleanup crew volunteers led by Maggie Wilson and Jen Docsa-Koehler, who worked diligently to put everything back in order in an amazing flurry of hard work and comradery.

Facilitating the work of our congregation and our building for this large-scale activity took extra time and effort from all our talented and generous staff. They are remarkable and together provide a vital platform for our work. A special shout-out to Melissa, our administrator and bedrock for this incredible enterprise, for providing unceasing help and support with amazingly good humor.

Thank you also to Rochelle, our masterful coordinator and mentor, who kept everyone on track and moving toward our goal. Although she played a less public role this year, her capable hands and mind were working diligently behind the scenes, ensuring that communications were timely and clear, sharing her vast experience and wisdom, and guiding and problem-solving from a distance to keep everything running smoothly.

A final thanks to all of you who came to shop and invited others to come: to support our local artists, to buy our lovely homemade goods, and to wager a little money on the gorgeous raffle baskets. Although the final numbers are still being tallied and expenses calculated, we raised well over $13,000 to support our church. After expenses are paid, we expect the net income to be about $11,000. Well done! The results exceeded our hopes! Our community is strong. When we lean in together, we are capable of so much more than we can even imagine and accomplish alone. Thank you all.