Milestone year for charity fair brings out lovers of fun, food

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 30, 2010

St. Lawrence first grader Owen Brose couldn’t get to his mother, Hollie, fast enough Saturday to show off his prize. It was an inflatable zebra that he won with his keen eye and great arm as he played one of the game booths at this year’s Ironton Catholic Community Charity Fair.

“I won this,” Owen excitedly told his mother, as she manned one of the raffle tables at the 25th annual event that brings out children and adults alike to try their luck at games and prizes in between wolfing down a variety of homemade treats.

All money raised from the event that started Friday and will continue through to 1 p.m. Memorial Day goes to support St. Lawrence Elementary and St. Joseph High schools.

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It’s been seven years since Dee Moore of Coal Grove had a child in one of those schools, but she continues to be there, enthusiastically help out.

“I’m still here,” she joked.

On Saturday afternoon, she was taking care of the baked goods and collectibles tables, telling visitors about the special oversized cinnamon rolls that Ralph Kline of the Ironton-Lawrence County CAO made or the yeast and cornmeal bread that came from the oven of Mary Gene Patterson.

“But (all the bakers) do wonderfully,” Moore said.

It takes about 60 people a shift to keep the fair up and running for the weekend and that doesn’t count all the behind-the-scenes volunteers, said Chris Monte, this year’s co-chair.

“We have had this for so long on Memorial weekend and so many come back for the parade, it’s like a reunion,” Monte said.

One of the favorite booths features the array of gift baskets, all up for drawings on Monday. This year baskets ranged from a gardening one with tools, an OSU one with a pullover jacket, throw, and the fixings for refreshments during a game; one for couch potatoes with its own television; and a coffee and dessert basket with gourmet coffee pot, two cups, hot chocolate and cider. Each basket is sponsored by businesses in the community.

“I start in January when I get my sponsors and start to do the baskets,” said Kathy Staton, who started the basket raffle in 2004.

Helping her out in shopping and putting them together were Ruthie Hopkins, Lora Bryant, Cindy Neal, Julie Walters, Mary Beth Weber, Jenny Dickess and Mary Jo Malone.

This was the first year for Dennis Hodges of Russell to volunteer to work one of the booths. He was stationed at a game of toss. Hodges and his wife got involved because their daughter, Monica, is a student at St. Joseph.

“I’ve been involved with this for about two hours,” he joked. “This is a win-win situation. The kids have a good time. The adults and teens working have a good time. And who doesn’t love to eat and drink.”