Churches held fun-filled events for a cause

September 11, 2018

Growing up, Columbus native Kellie Jarecke remembers being a frequent attendee of the St. Isidore Catholic Church bazaar. Now, she’s passed on the tradition to her children.

“We are members of the church here and we’ve been coming every year … since I was growing up,” said Jarecke, who on Sunday afternoon was watching her children participate in carnival games. “It’s just a good family oriented event and since I grew up with it, my kids love coming, too.”

A couple of local churches had activities catered to patrons Sunday.

St. Isidore’s Catholic Church, 3921 20th St., and First United Methodist Church Outreach Center, 3602 16th St., hosted a fun-filled Sunday for families to enjoy while raising funds for church operations. There were activities for individuals of all ages, including a dunk tank, live entertainment, inflatables and carnival games.

This was St. Isidore’s 55th year hosting its bazaar, which gathers more than $40,000 of funding annually. Organizers aimed high this year with a goal of raising $50,000.

Since its inception, organizers have added a variety of activities, as well as additional games for younger children, in an effort to increase attendance.

“It is our biggest fundraiser, but how we look at is it is not really a fundraiser,” said Marty Feldhaus, who manages the accounting for the St. Isidore’s bazaar and oversees its rules and regulations. “(Father Joe Miksch of St. Isidore’s Catholic Church) likes seeing the parish come together – the old, the young and the community. There’s a lot of bonding done and he feels this is a way people get to know each other.”

Feldhaus said the size of the bazaar has tripled since its start. She noted the bazaar began as a dinner at a local café, which grew into a bazaar at Ag Park. After the existing church building was built in 1969, she said organizers decided to make it the permanent location for the annual event.

This year, St. Isidore’s decided to include more monetary prizes for its raffle drawing after receiving numerous requests from its parishioners. The Methodist church, in its second year hosting its block party, introduced a new tractor pull in an effort to provide funding for senior scholarships for congregation members graduating from high school.

Sarah Borgman, Christian education and youth director at First United Methodist Church, said the block party began as the church’s Fall Family Festival. Organizers eventually evolved the event to showcase their gratitude for the community support after the outreach center was built.

“We just wanted to invite people to come to do something for free because we know there’s a lot of people in our community who don’t have the money to go to the county or state fair,” Borgman said. “Just something fun to do with the kids, teenagers …”

The success of both these church events can be traced back to the support and donations organizers received from the community.

Borgman said the Lost Creek Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization loaned a number of games for the event and borrowed a dunk tank from Behlen Mfg. Co.

Feldhaus said prizes included bicycles, various vacation packages and a dinner for 12 with Miksch. Raffle and auction items were donated by church members and area businesses.

“We’ve got an awesome parish,” Feldhaus said.

Natasya Ong is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at natasya.ong@lee.net.

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