CAWC Charity Bazaar – Louisa Keating, volunteer co-ordinator

1 Dec, 2022 | Bazaar

My name is Louisa Keating. I have been a member of the CAWC for eight years. I am originally from a small town outside of Detroit in Michigan in the USA. I have loved being a member of the CAWC and really enjoy getting involved with the Bazaar.

The Bazaar is a very important part of the Club’s activities. It is our major fundraising event of the year. This year I decided to look after co-ordinating member volunteers. There are a lot of moving parts to the Bazaar and we rely very heavily on our members getting involved and taking an active part to make the Bazaar a success.

Basket making is a key activity. Preparations start well in advance of the actual date with members donating vessels, items to go in the baskets and joining in bow making parties. We are famous for our Christmas baskets and this year 27 volunteers made 343 festive hampers.

Our Bake Sale stall is also extremely popular and around 25 volunteers made a huge selection of goodies ranging from blondies to pumpkin pies; lemon drizzle cakes to chocolate chip cookies – all of which sold out in no time.

We run our own café, the Texas Lone Star Café. 17 members made a variety of food including delicious chilli, vegetarian chilli and corn bread. On the day of the Bazaar itself, over 60 members and their families turned up to help; some arriving at 5am to begin the set up!

Throughout the day along with ‘womanning’ the CAWC run stalls, they helped with car parking, making and delivering lunch and snacks for our vendors, helping shoppers deliver their purchases to their cars (!) and generally running around to make the day a huge success.

Over 800 people came to the Bazaar and shopped with 68 artisan vendors. We were also supported by 48 sponsors. Shoppers had the opportunity to win 75 general raffle prizes, 26 grand raffle prizes and 24 silent auction prizes. All of these activities required volunteer help from our members to organize.

Our Bazaar is a huge operation and a large team of people all pull together to help make it a huge success for the shoppers, vendors and ultimately raise money for our chosen charity, currently the ‘Motor Neurone Disease Breathing Support Project’, which is being delivered by members of the Palliative Care Service based at Florence Nightingale Hospice, which is part of Buckinghamshire NHS Trust. The project has the full backing of the Chiltern Branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Our Treasurer is finalizing the accounts and this year’s total will be announced at our Christmas luncheon on 8th December. Check our Bazaar page after the 8th and all will be revealed!