Craft sale raises money for community causes

Matt Gardner
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The West Flat Citizens Group (WFCG) wasn’t the only beneficiary of an art, craft and bake sale held on Saturday at the Bernice Sayese Centre.

While money raised through vendor fees and sales at the canteen will go towards improving the experience of children who participate in recreational activities, the vendors themselves also received a substantial boost.

“I’m really pleased that we had a large amount of people, large turnout and a lot of people from the community showed up and supported (it),” WFCG executive director Dawn Robins said.

A hub for recreational activities in the West Flat area, the WFCG is the umbrella organization for services, amenities and programs offered at the Bernice Sayese Centre.

Program co-ordinator Bianca Sanderson was a driving force in developing the annual craft sale as a means of optimizing recreational activities for children organized by the WFCG.

“This bake sale is to raise money to cover incidentals that we don’t have a budget for,” Robins said.

Incidental costs might include anything from Christmas turkeys for families to popcorn for children at Prince Albert Raiders games.

“We’re able to spend that money so that the kids can have something too, because they don’t come with money,” Robins said.

“If we go to the Raider game, they don’t have two bucks or five bucks in their pocket, so we just like to be able to provide for them just like everybody else when we’re having outings, just so that they have a really good experience.”

Aside from recreational activities, the group also devotes resources to numerous educational initiatives.

One current example is a program by the WFCG to promote training in first aid, CPR and WHMIS to help youth better contribute to the labour force.

Another is an effort to mentor students in certain subjects.

“We always tell the kids, ‘You can be anything you want to be,’ but if you don’t give them the proper education, like the sciences and maths that they need to take when they first get there, they can’t be anything they want to be,” Robins said.

“So we have to get them educated and this is what the group is all about … We’re trying to get the kids to move forward rather than be just status quo. We’re just trying to move them ahead.”

I’m really pleased that we had a large amount of people, large turnout and a lot of people from the community showed up. Dawn Robins

Robins noted that the craft sale serves as an opportunity for members of the community to display the results of their own hard work -- particularly since this year’s sale had more of an emphasis on crafts as opposed to last year’s “garage sale” approach.

Vendors on Saturday displayed a wide range of artwork, crafts and food items.

In many cases, the proceeds flowed towards community-oriented causes, whether at home or abroad.

Vendors and M&B Aboriginal Artistry owners Mel and Bonny Sanderson are also the proprietors of Jessy’s Garden, which helps feed low-income families in the Prince Albert area.

As Bonny explained, the couple’s handcrafted aboriginal artwork -- much of which was on display at the craft sale -- helps finance their work at the garden.

“We do six months for the gardens and six months for the artwork, and the artwork is what covers the bills for the garden and keeps our garden going in the summer,” she said.

Meanwhile, St. Mary High School student Danica Beaulac -- set up at a table next to that of her mother, Cowgirl Finesse owner Leanne Beaulac -- sold baked goods on Saturday to help raise money for a planned mission to Tanzania organized by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince Albert.

A group of young P.A. residents will embark on the six-week trip this summer to help build a windmill and well for one Tanzanian community.

“We’re still pretty far from our goal,” Danica said. “We’ve got six months left I think, and it’s $24,000 for the cost of the well and the windmill.

“To get there (for) each, it’s individually like $5,000, so I think overall we’re still fairly far from our goal for the windmill. But we’re getting there.”

Organizations: WFCG, Bernice Sayese Centre, Mary High School Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince Albert

Geographic location: Prince Albert Raiders, West Flat, Tanzania

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