You could find your Pot of Gold on St. Patrick’s Day, when you come to the 15th Annual St. Susan Center Basket Fair. Doors open at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 17th at the Jamestown Community College Physical Education Building. That’s located on Curtis Street in Jamestown.
The Basket Fair is the largest fundraiser of the year for the St. Susan Center, which offers meals, dignity, fellowship and respect to all who enter. Executive Director Jeffrey Smith expects to have well over 100 baskets ready for your consideration. Smith says the community really responds to this event. “We get basket donations, everything from candy to electronics, to children’s items, to women’s baskets. We get baby baskets, restaurant gift certificates, and all kinds of different things. It’s a fun event.”
Donated items continue to come in prior to the big day. Smith says, “As we speak I’m picking up four baskets. The lady who wraps them for us does a fantastic job; they look like a million bucks.”
Much effort and enthusiasm go into preparation for the Basket Fair. Smith says many people are willing to lend a helping hand, including the St. Susan Center staff and board of directors, in addition to the community at large. Smith says they can always use more volunteers for the event.
“The Girl Scouts are coming to help us this year to run our Kids Corner. If people want to bring children, there will be children’s activities to keep them busy. The Civil Air Cadets come and help us every year, and the kids from ‘Kids for a Cause’, they come and help us every year as well. So we do get quite a bit of help in putting on this event.” You will also find DJ music and food items on sale at the Comfort Café.
Want a few more basket previews? According to Smith, “I’ve got a baby basket in front of me, and I’m looking at a brand new Ryobi pressure washer. There’s a big, beautiful Easter basket with every kind of chocolate and gummy delicacy you can imagine. I’ve got rounds of golf, tool baskets, and an overnight stay at the Athenaeum Hotel.”
You can check out all the baskets by going online to “St. Susan Center.org” for updates to the catalog, to see what baskets have come in from the previous week, read the descriptions and who had donated them. Or you can use the absentee ballot forms, which are accepted up until March 16th at 4:30 p.m.
The Basket Fair features three grand prizes. They are $500 in cash, a 55-inch smart TV, and a pair of kayaks with life vests included.
The St. Susan Center, located at 31 Water Street in Jamestown, is open 361 days a year, serving a hot meal every day for people in need. They are closed only on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. Anyone who needs a hot meal can come in, no questions asked. Smith says they have approximately 200 people who volunteer at the Center, over the course of a year, about 75 of whom are there week in and week out. Smith says they are a bit short of volunteers in some areas, so if you are interested, call 716-664-2253, and speak to Katie Murdock. That’s also the number for more information about the Basket Fair.
By Nicholas Pircio