FCCLA Winter Bazaar bonds school, community

by Mia Harr/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: FCCLA’s Connor Griffith, 10, talks to a winter bazaar customer.

The Winter bazaar was a success this year, with the booths stretching beyond the cafeteria, around the auditorium, library, and even into some of the academic halls. The booths were from local vendors selling things they made or from direct sales companies.

The winter bazaar is a craft show for people to do some shopping from some local small businesses, but it’s also the main fundraiser for FCCLA. FCCLA president Isabelle Monsma, 10, said, “The winter bazaar helps a lot with our club fees, like it makes our state fees cheaper so more people can come and it also helps with nationals if we make it there. It also helps with other field trips and community service we do.” The winter bazaar’s main goal was to raise money for the club but also to help small businesses. 

Monsma explained what to expect. “We have lots of people attending.  We have most of FCCLA coming to work, friends, family, we have lots of local vendors, the drama club, and we even have a few people who have graduated but were in FCCLA coming.” 

FCCLA runs the entire event. This year the students from FCCLA helped set up by promoting, putting up years signs, assisting vendors in their booths, they helped move and carry items, ran booths when vendors needed breaks, baked foods to sell, helped with concessions, and at the very end they cleaned up at the end. Monsma said, “FCCLA runs the whole thing. We make the food we sell and we plan the whole thing. Mrs. (Janelle) Keusch, our adviser, does a lot, thank God.”  They stayed after school Friday till 8pm to set up and went back at 6:30 am to continue setting up. Some of the main dishes from the event were homemade cinnamon rolls, pumpkin rolls, cookies, and lasagna or chicken noodle soup for lunch.  

However, there were challenges to this event.  Keusch stated, “The set up is most challenging due to the quick turnaround times at the end of the day. All the planning and prep takes so many hours to do.” 

Monsma stated, “We have a limited amount of people to work with and it’s amazing that it’s expanding but also it makes it more to manage.” There was a lot of planning and challenges that went into the winter bazaar but most say it was successful. 

Monsma was asked about the winter bazaar and her response was, “The winter bazaar is about community. Without local vendors and local shoppers we wouldn’t be able to do it. It reminds me a lot of Riley Days.  Lots of people come together and support each other.” The winter bazaar is an event that’s involved with the community and support from others. Keusch, when asked if she was excited, stated, “Of course! It is crazy busy, chaotic and fun.” Monsma was excited about the winter bazaar being a lot bigger this year. She described it as a very stressful thought but she knew all the hard work would pay off and it would be amazing.