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Gifts, goodies and more

By Staff | Nov 29, 2019

Vendors offered a variety of goodies and gifts to shoppers to raise money for the fight against cancer at the Pierce County Relay for Life Fall Craft Show in the Rugby armory Saturday.

Shoppers browsed items from furniture and dcor to fashions, searching for Christmas gifts, tree ornaments or a little something for themselves. A $2 admission charge and silent auction raised funds for the Pierce County Relay for Life.

Some vendors offered baked goods while others offered flavored coffee drinks. Shoppers climbed the stairs to the armory stage to enjoy bowls of knoephla soup for lunch.

A few vendors offered lefse, another favorite local treat.

Relay for Life Chair Laurie Odden told the Tribune the fall craft show has been an annual tradition for “quite a few years, might be even more than 10 to 15 years.”

“It’s a great day,” Odden said of the show. “We have 47 vendors here, I believe. It’s quite full. I’ve had quite a lot of compliments today about the variety of vendors and new people. It’s always nice to bring in new people but it’s also nice to keep the same people because they have return customers.”

Odden added, “There’s a huge variety – we’ve got some metal art, we’ve got quilting, we’ve got lots of clothing and boutiques, lots of Christmas items. That’s probably been the hot seller this year.”

“The lunch is going well this year. We’ve got some up front (people enjoying knoephla soup). The Roaming Coffee Castle is out front, too. She’s been doing really well,” Odden noted.

“Our lefse lady sold out already so she’s getting ready to go home,” Odden said, indicating a vendor who was packing up to leave.

“It’s just a great day. It’s a really great fundraiser for us,” Odden said.

McKenna Beeter and her mom, Kathleen, offered baby blankets and throws for all ages in an assortment of colorful patterns. “My mom and I do this together,” the Minot resident said of her business. “It’s kind of a tag team effort. We both keep each other going.”

“I have a basket in the silent auction,” Beeter added. “It’s got a John Deere blanket and some baby stuff. It’s something that’s very important. My grandpa passed away from cancer so (the fundraiser is) something that’s very important.”

Sandra Flemming, Sawyer, handed out samples of coffee drinks made with mixes she made and sold at her booth, which also featured repurposed furniture and benches handmade by her husband. Flemming’s grandchildren, Luke and Grace, had a table next to Flemming’s booth where Luke sold cards made from photos he had taken and Grace sold homemade pies.

Flemming said of her customers, “A lot of them bought our furniture today. They bought our cappuccinos but a lot of them are buying for themselves.”

Flemming said Saturday was her “first Pierce County Relay for Life show. It’s pretty nice. The money goes to fight cancer. I donated one of my shovels to the silent auction.” Her shovel, with its blade decorated with a Santa Claus face, sat on a table of items up for bids.

Nicole Schneibel and Linda Beaver displayed what they called “grab and go gifts – teachers’ gifts, bus driver gifts, Secret Santa gifts – it all kind of coordinates, but it’s all little.”

Kim Kleinsasser manned a booth offering women’s clothing to help out her daughter, Jessalyn Ostrem.

Ostrem, Rugby, is an occupational therapist at Heart of America Medical Center who markets fashions as a side business.

“I think she’s done three craft shows, actually,” Kleinsasser said of her daughter. “She does sell Plunder jewelry, too.”

Kleinsasser said of Saturday’s craft show, “It was really busy at first. Like any vendor show, people want to come to get the best stuff and then they find other stuff to do, especially on a nice day.”

However, Kleinsasser and other vendors noted there had been a steady stream of visitors all day.

Kleinsasser said the Relay for Life was an important cause for her family to support.

“I am a breast cancer survivor, and (Ostrem’s) father is also a cancer survivor. Cancer is near and dear to her. She has grandparents with it.”

Pausing, Kleinsasser added, “It doesn’t even surprise you anymore when you hear of someone who has it.”

Odden said the Pierce County Relay for Life committee was making plans for next year’s relay.

“We’re looking at May or June (for the next Relay for Life), and we’re looking to do a craft show in the spring,” Odden noted.

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