Women’s Bazaar set for Wednesday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Those who have been around from the beginning have lost track of when it started.

It’s enough to say that for more than 50 years, the annual United Methodist Women’s Bazaar at the Demopolis First United Methodist Church has provided plenty of holiday presents and decorations, good food, bargains and special gifts to those who attend.

This year the bazaar will be Wednesday, November 9, and doors will open at 10 a.m. Shoppers who manage to be among the first through the door get their pick of Attic Treasures, whimsical hand-made gifts to bring out the smiles, baked goods and dinners, and a selection of gifts and gift certificates to bid on at the Silent Auction.

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Hundreds, if not thousands of chicken salad dinners await those who want to take a break from shopping. Both eat-in and take-out are available.

And again the proceeds from the bazaar again go to support the missionary and service projects sponsored by the members of the UMW.

All the members of the church are involved in one way or another – making crafts, preparing the dinners, donating items or money, and manning sales rooms.

Iona Watts and her crew have been working together for some 10 years on Attic Treasures, although Watts recalls taking part in the bazaar for at least 30 years. She and her committee accept “antiquish” things that people no longer need.

This year they have stocked lamps, pictures, jewelry, vases, books and dishes, in addition to other items to tempt buyers.

Since Watts began working Attic Treasures, she’s discovered that the adage “one person’s trash is another’s treasure” is really true.

“People line up before the bazaar to get into that room,” she said.

She and several others on the committee also work at the Bargain Box during the year and are constantly on the lookout for items they feel would sell well.

Working with her are Snow Wilkerson, Mary Moore, June Barnes, Bertie Black and Mickey Gardner.

This year Pat Swanson is volunteering with the crew for the first time and learning the ropes.

For the second year Vickie Wilson chairs the Silent Auction. Interspersed among the tea set, watercolor prints, Christmas dishes, bird houses, and even a hefty chipper/shredder are gift certificates for restaurant meals, parties for kids and adults, yard work, a dessert of the month and movie rentals. Local banks have Savings Bonds.

Unique items donated include two tickets to the Alabama-Hawaii game, four tickets to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and tickets (and parking pass) for Christmas on the River.

Realizing that not everyone in the church has talents to make gifts or cook, Wilson found most everyone is willing to help financially. Church members purchased most of the gift certificates put up for auction.

It is the Gift Room that remains one of the most popular of the bazaar. Hand-crafted gifts for people of all ages provide a dash of whimsy and unique Christmas presents.

Martha Sue Clem, who has been involved since the very beginning, said getting ideas and preparing for the bazaar never ends.

“We do this all year long,” she said. “Wherever you go, you look.” For instance, she said, volunteers found fabric for the baby blankets all over the South during their travels this summer.

Many old favorites have returned this year, including the sock-monkey dolls and tulle scrub mops.

New this year are illuminated glass brick “presents,” made by Thomas and Carolyn Bell. There’s an “over-the-hill” doll and a stuffed hen that holds everything needed to make quick sewing repairs.

Feathered trees, activity tins for children, flip-flop fly swatters, quilts and holiday table and door decorations also will be found in the Gift Room, priced competitively with similar items found in retail stores.