Mennonite Fall Fair A Crowd Favourite
Prince George, B.C. – There is no doubt about the popularity of the annual Mennonite Fall Fair. Just try to find a parking spot in the vicinity of the Prince George Civic Centre when the fair is on.
Saturday was no exception as the Westwood Mennonite Brethren Church hosted this year’s fair to raise funds for education programs for Syrian refugee children. Now they didn’t hop on the bandwagon with the recent high-profile news about the refugee exodus. Promotions and Advertising Liaison for the Fall Fair, Diane Fairservice, says “MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) has been working in refugee camps for a number of years since the trouble started in Syria.”
“This project was probably chosen last year but I know this has been on MCC’s radar for a while. It seems coincidental that that’s what we’re choosing now because it’s in the news, but this was a project that was announced back in March.”
As for the proceeds from the fair, Fairservice says “90 percent of our net proceeds this year will go toward programs for education and hope for Syrian refugee children. So that is Syria, Lebanon, wherever there are refugee camps that MCC is assisting with those projects. The remaining 10 percent goes towards local charities, so we donate to the Ness Lake Bible Camp bursary fund, we donate to the new life centre and a small portion of our proceeds will go to the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship up at UNBC.”
She says money raised at the local Mennonite Fall Fair as well as others around the province goes in to the Central office “and it’s distributed from there to the projects that we choose.” The education programs for the Syrian children are delivered to them wherever they are, whether in refugee camps in their own country or in other countries.
Of course the highly-popular items at this year’s Fall Fair were the Farmer’s Sausage and Perogies, all sorts of baked goods including the Oreo cupcakes which vanish in an instant, fresh vegetables and fruit, the Fair Trade coffee, a wide variety of knitted items and books, lots of books. And a great deal of it heads out the door in the 10 am to 4 pm, six-hour duration of the fair. “If you come back at 4 o’clock there will be nothing on the baking table and there will be next to nothing in the garage sale and the crafts will be depleted. So, for everything we have here, we can sell it all in six hours,” she says.
Fairservice would like to say “a big, big thank you to the people who donate to us, the people who come to support us, the people who come to volunteer for us, every year they are the ones that help to make this the success that it is.”