Methodist Women hold country fair

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
East Hartford - posted Mon., Oct. 28, 2013
Alex and Donna Fletcher are working at Grandma’s Attic, selling doll clothes and Christmas ornaments. Photos by Lisa Stone.
Alex and Donna Fletcher are working at Grandma’s Attic, selling doll clothes and Christmas ornaments. Photos by Lisa Stone.

Wesley Memorial Church held its annual Country Fair on Oct. 19, presented by the United Methodist Women club. The fair featured hand crafted treasures and doll clothes as well as jewelry and other items in Grandma’s Attic in the church. All the crafts at the fair were hand made by UMW members, and fair proceeds went to the club.

“The United Methodist Women are involved in many charities,” said Judy Okeson, who served as fair chairperson. “We help with the Women Infants and Children program. Over 100 mothers a day are in need at the WIC center. There is a true need for help with young families in the area.” The UMW coordinates collection and distribution of items such as diapers and grocery coupons that can help needy families in the area. The group also collects aluminum tabs from cans and donates them to the Shiner’s Hospital. The expected proceeds from the fair are earmarked for the general fund, which  helps to provide items for school and hygiene kits.

Okeson said that the Wesley group is the local chapter of a national organization of Methodist women, which coordinates with a mission in Boston, Mass.

Margaritta Vandeberg was in charge of the food table, which included hot dogs, soup and bread. “We have been pretty busy today.,” she said. “This fair had been a success.”

Brenda Mlodzinski said that even though she has since moved away from East Hartford, she came back to the church to help out with the fair. “I am still registered at this church,” she said. “This church is home to me. My husband, Jim and I got married here in 1994. We both lived in New York for a short time, and that is where we met. After a while, we moved back to Connecticut. We started coming to this church from time to time. I still know a lot of people from when I was younger. This country fair is special to me.”

UMW member Trish Nicol said that another member, Donna Fletcher, is spearheading a special outreach project for the group. “We are making dresses for girls in Africa,” she said. “We also make puppets for the children. This outreach program is very important to us. The group is getting younger women to join. That is wonderful, but what is more important is that we are lucky enough to be learning from our elders. They have a great deal of knowledge to offer us.”

The UMW is planning a Thanksgiving dinner at the East Hartford Friendship Center. Out of the cost of each meal, $1 will be donated to the local soup kitchen.


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