Following online alternative, Northfield Kiwanis Club’s fair, raffle return

  • A John Deere coat is among the items available in the Northfield Kiwanis Club’s raffle on Saturday. Contributed photo

  • A signed stoneware crock donated by Northfield potter Tom White and a gallon of paint donated by Kidder & Company are among the items available in the Northfield Kiwanis Club’s raffle on Saturday. Contributed photo

  • A collection of items available in the Northfield Kiwanis Club’s raffle on Saturday. Contributed photo

News Editor
Published: 12/2/2021 4:19:19 PM

NORTHFIELD — A tradition that morphed into an online auction last year as a health safety precaution amid the COVID-19 pandemic will resume its normal operations Saturday, when the Northfield Kiwanis Club’s Holiday Craft Fair and Raffle returns.

The event will be held in the Northfield Elementary School gymnasium from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. According to Kiwanis Club Treasurer Steve Stoia, the craft fair and raffle will last one hour longer than in other years to celebrate returning to in-person festivities.

“It was successful (last year), but everybody’s kind of yearning to get back to live,” he said, noting his thanks to the school for allowing Saturday’s in-person event to be held there. “I think it’s a real relief because ... the draw of our fair and other fairs brought people into town for the whole day. The audience is definitely regional; we brought families from New Hampshire and Vermont.”

Stoia believes the Kiwanis Club’s Holiday Craft Fair and Raffle dates back to the 1950s, and is usually held the first Saturday in December along with other holiday bazaars in town. Although some Northfield bazaars have been moved earlier in the season, the Kiwanis Club has maintained its date, which it will share with the Parent-Teacher Organization’s book fair. The book fair will be held in Northfield Elementary’s library.

Through the craft fair and raffle, the Kiwanis Club raises money for gift certificates to the Northfield Food Mart and Walmart. Northfield Elementary’s guidance office then gives the gift certificates to families it has identified as being in need to help them buy food and clothing.

“Recipients often break the third wall, so to speak, and send thank you letters,” Stoia said. “We certainly appreciate getting that. It gives us a little more inspiration to get our job done.”

The Kiwanis Club’s online auction raised about $1,200 for gift cards last year, a number Stoia said the club hopes to reach or surpass this year with its traditional craft fair and raffle.

“The number of families in need is similar to last year,” he noted.

Participating craftspeople provide the Kiwanis Club with a $25 fee and an item for the club to raffle off. Fifteen booths, mostly run by Franklin County vendors, will be set up around the periphery of the gym, with the raffle items in the middle.

Raffle items include a signed stoneware crock donated by Northfield potter Tom White; a custom cake donated and decorated by Cakes by Monica; a chocolate collection from Erving Station; a gallon of paint donated by Kidder & Company, tinted the color of the winner’s choosing; and a variety of gift certificates to area businesses. Selectboard member and Northfield Creamie co-owner Mary Bowen will pick the winners, Stoia said.

All attendees are required to wear masks and practice social distancing, and are encouraged to minimize their handling of items. Stoia said the Kiwanis Club will ensure there aren’t too many people in the gym at once.

Those who cannot attend the Holiday Craft Fair and Raffle but would like to contribute toward the purchase of gift certificates for Northfield families in need can mail tax-deductible donations to the Northfield Kiwanis Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 943, Northfield, MA. 01360-0943.

Reach Shelby Ashline at 413-772-0261, ext. 270 or sashline@recorder.com.




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