LOOSE CREEK — Proceeds from Saturday’s Christmas Extravaganza craft show at Loose Creek will benefit Fatima seniors needing assistance with college expenses. Held each year on the …
LOOSE CREEK — Proceeds from Saturday’s Christmas Extravaganza craft show at Loose Creek will benefit Fatima seniors needing assistance with college expenses. Held each year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, this event has raised funds for the Megan Boehm Scholarship since 2004, and organizer Jerri Wildhaber said it gets better each year.
Held at the Loose Creek Community Center, the craft show had 53 vendors signed up in 67 booths, with several outside.
“We’ve had some outside for a few years, but this was the most we’ve had outdoors,” said Wildhaber. “We get a great variety of vendors each year, and the crowd grows as well. Those in the community take the time to stop me and comment on how the event was great again this year and cannot wait to come back next year.”
When the event began 21 years ago, the intent was to raise funds for the March of Dimes.
“After my sister, Megan, passed away in a car accident during her senior year at Fatima, my family helped me organize and run the event,” said Wildhaber, who lives in Loose Creek.
Boehm passed away on her 18th birthday in August of 2003, and her parents, Porky and Debbie, wanted to create a memorial in her honor. The first event in her name was held in November 2004, and the first scholarships were presented in the spring of 2005. To date, more than 100 Fatima seniors have benefitted from this fundraiser.
Wildhaber’s husband, Jacob, and their children, Aiden, Eva, and Brie, along with high-school friends, also played a part in the craft show.
“The entire family does something to make this work, and if not for them, I’m not sure we’d be able to do it,” Wildhaber said.
When she says her family helps, that’s not an exaggeration. Her father, Porky, and brother, Noah, lead the effort to grill pork burgers, hamburgers, and other items. Her mother, Debbie, bakes for four days before the event to stock the concession stand. Jerri’s sister, Lexi, her husband Aaron, and sisters-in-law, Jessie and Lindsey Boehm, help Debbie prep food in kitchen.
“Our family is so blessed to continue being able to put this event on each year and continue giving out scholarships in Megan’s memory to Fatima seniors,” said Wildhaber, “Twenty years after her passing, her memory lives on tremendously through these scholarships, and we know she would be proud of how many students’ lives this has positively affected.”
To pull this off for 21 years requires support from vendors and the community, a balance Wildhaber has managed to maintain.
“Some of the greatest people come every year and set up a booth,” she said.
Fatima seniors have a deadline of mid-March to apply for the scholarships, which are presented in April. For more information, students are encouraged to speak with Guidance Counselor Kary Brunnert.