Christmas craft sale held at Limerick Community Centre

The Limerick Friends’ Club put on a Christmas Craft Sale at the Limerick Community Centre on Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It featured over a half dozen different vendors, including Kelly Wallace, managing director of the Think Turtle Conservation Initiative, and despite it being a little slow at times, everyone had a great time. According to organizers, a lot of money was raised for the Tri-Township Food Bank, who had a couple of kiosks at the sale.

Overall, the organizers and vendors said that the sale on Nov. 18 was a bit slow, but attributed it to other markets in the area going on and of course, hunting season. There were over a half dozen vendors at the Limerick Community Centre, selling a variety of wares including knitted goods, homemade jarred preserves, crocheted items, painted glass wares, stuffed animals, painted cards and flower arrangements.

Organizers Jo-anne Carrol, Dawn Lockhart, Joanne Carrol and Sharon Boomhour, in addition to setting up the sale, also had a delicious lunch available for vendors and attendees; pulled pork on a bun and two soups (tomato vegetable and potato vegetable) for $5. Coffee was also available for $1 a cup.

Some members of the Tri-Township Food Basket in Coe Hill were on hand at the craft sale. Judy Bruce and Beryl Lee were selling tickets for a few gift baskets to raise money for the food basket, at $2 each or three tickets for $5. Arnie and Gail Nicol were also there, selling crocheted items to raise money for the TTFB.

The TTFB has been serving Wollaston, Limerick and Tudor and Cashel Townships for about 10 years, they operate out of the basement of the Coe Hill Legion and are under the umbrella of the North Hastings Community Cupboard in Bancroft. Nicol says that the NHCC helps them with food when they can, and that they have benefitted from their access to equipment grants. They are currently looking for more volunteers and if interested, people are asked to contact Nicol at 613-337-8616 or at gailnicol@xplornet.com.

Wallace had a number of different handcrafted items at the Nov. 18 sale, part of the Think Turtle Conservation Initiative’s “Crafting 4 Turtles” initiative. These included small crochet/knit turtles, quilted mug rugs, resin turtle key chains/necklaces, felted pins, crochet turtle potholders, paintings, crocheted afghans, the proceeds of which go toward the treatment and care of injured turtles admitted to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre. They also had “Watch 4 Turtles” merchandise, the proceeds of which go toward their operating costs, education initiatives and species’ recovery efforts. The proceeds from the OTCC merchandise available, like T-shirts, hoodies, toques, baseballs caps and more, go toward treating and caring for turtles that spend the winter at the turtle hospital.

Wallace says that the Nov. 18 craft sale is one of several Christmas shows that the TTCI participates in, to sell merchandise for the OTCC that will go to increasing awareness leading up to and into the next turtle season.

“Additionally, it is a great opportunity for us to connect with people to answer questions about helping turtles and talk about turtles, their habitat and related matters. One of the best things about participating in public events is we get to talk to many people that didn’t even know they had questions to ask,” she says.

Marjorie Thompson, who is 89 years old, was there selling knitted items and stuffed animals, and she’s been participating in the craft sale since 1998.

“I don’t think it’s the organization, I think it’s a sign of the times,” she says, opining about why it was relatively slow that day.

“It’s not the markets, I don’t think, it’s that people are still reluctant to go out [due to COVID-19 and its restrictions over the past two plus years]. Even though I haven’t made as much money, I’ve had a very good time. I’m hoping to it's always going to be here, as it’s been a really good market to me,” she says.

According to organizer Jo-Anne Carrol, the Christmas sale didn’t take too long to plan out and execute, as the Limerick Friends’ Club has been waiting and planning for renewed events for over two years, since the COVID-19 pandemic started. They said that their Octoberfest dinner (on Oct. 22) was pretty well attended and that they’re hoping for a full house for their Christmas dinner that is coming up on Dec. 3 at the Limerick Community Centre. More details for this latter event will be shared soon on the LFC Facebook page at www.facebook.com (under “Limerick Friends Club”).

Boomhour added that volunteers are hard to find though. If interested in volunteering for the Limerick Friends’ Club, please contact Lockhart at 613-337-5007, or message them on their Facebook page.

“Everyone is saying the same thing. Even the volunteers they had [pre-COVID-19] aren’t coming back,” she says.

Jo-Anne Carrol said that it was great to be back doing events though.

“Small communities, you have to have something.”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times