Fundraisers Help Union Education

Managing Editor

DARNABY ARTS AND CRAFTS: Darnaby Elementary students display vendor wares that will be featured at the Darnaby Arts and Crafts Show, Dec. 7 at the Union Multipurpose Activity Center. The event benefits the Darnaby PTA.


Union will see two highly-anticipated fundraising events come to the school district in November. Union-A Sure Bet Casino Night, hosted by Union Schools Education Foundation (), will take place at the Renaissance Hotel, 6808 S. 107th E. Ave., on Saturday, Nov. 2. The event will feature casino games, prizes, dinner and live entertainment.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and games begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $60 and may be purchased online or by calling . The event is open to all members of the community; guests must be at least 21 years old to attend.

“In a time when education funding is at an all-time low, this is a great way for the community to rally support,” says Greg Boudreau, president.

This year, the foundation is also hosting an online auction that will offer a variety of sports items, tickets, travel packages and more. The online auction began Oct. 21 and will end Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. All auction profits will go to support Union Public Schools projects and programs that would otherwise go unfunded.

Debra Searcy, event chair, hopes to see a 20 percent increase in money raised as compared with last year’s event. Besides the monetary benefit to the school district, however, “it’s a great opportunity to have fun and socialize while also giving back to the students . . . and the greater community,” she says.

The is currently seeking donation items and sponsors to be part of the event. To purchase tickets or learn more, visit unionfoundation or call 918-357-6014.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, the Darnaby Arts and Crafts Show will return for its 32nd year. Hosted by Darnaby Elementary’s Parent Teacher Association (), the fundraising event, since its small beginnings, has grown into one of the largest school fundraisers, with many patrons and vendors alike anticipating the show’s arrival each year, says Event Co-Organizer Amy Michalcik.

Two years ago, organizers moved the event from the Union 9th Grade Center to the Union Multipurpose Activity Center () to accommodate the show’s growing number of vendors and shoppers.

“The attitude is so positive from all the shoppers I encounter because of the quality and diversity of products that are available at one show,” says Holly Loyd, owner of Spiffy Spoonz, which sells hand-beaded serving pieces. “Many first-time attendees are in awe as to how much is available in one venue.”

“We hear customers say that it’s turned into a tradition to come every year,” Michalcik says. She attributes that to the show’s inviting atmosphere and array of items on display, from Christmas crafts and clothing to woodworking items and hunting equipment—the wide variety all done in the name of inclusion, in order to offer something for everyone.

Alice Riggs, of Woodcrafts by Alice, is an example of a long-time vendor who has built a loyal following at the craft show.

Riggs has seen her customers return again and again for her personalized items, enabling her to continue to engage in the craft she loves so much. “I love everything about it from cutting the wood, to painting it, to putting it together, to loading it in the van, to setting it up at a craft show and seeing the joy it brings to the customers when they pick one out and see their name on it,” she says.

This year’s event will feature 150 vendors who had to apply and be accepted to be a part of the event.

Besides the atmosphere of the event and the wares that are available, the event’s cause is, no doubt, another reason that patrons come willing to buy.

All proceeds benefit Darnaby Elementary’s , which funds programs such as student activities, grants for teachers, classroom supplies, playground equipment and other necessary expenses. In effect, “all the money goes straight to students,” says Co-Organizer Kristy Schmitz, which was the main factor that drew Loyd to the show.

“It’s great to be involved in a show that benefits the children within our community,” says Loyd, who started at the craft event nine years ago.

Largely because of the event’s education focus, volunteers are never hard to come by, says Michalcik. “That’s another thing that makes us unique is all the help we get, help from students, parents and teachers throughout the district because they know the money goes back to the school.”

Food concessions will be on hand as well as entertainment and craft grab bag activities. The event runs from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Updated 10-28-2013

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