PALMYRA — The Palmyra Fire Auxiliary annual craft fair will be Saturday, Nov. 9, and as the organization’s largest fundraiser, the fair is an important part of the support the auxiliary gives to the fire department all year long.
Kay Bullock, chairperson for the fair committee, said the auxiliary started the craft fair in 2008. Seeking ways to raise money beyond hall-rental fees, Bullock said she and her daughter Kelly, brainstormed the idea.
“When we started this, we thought about the people in the community who do hobby crafts,” Bullock said. “It’s a great venue for them. And it’s an important fundraiser to us.”
The fair grew quickly, with 30 to 35 vendors selling their wares. The auxiliary started with a spring and fall fair, which was well received, but Bullock said they’ve scaled back to just a fall fair simply because of the extensive work it requires to organize.
The auxiliary acts as a support system for the fire department, Bullock said. When a fire happens, auxiliary members are in the fire hall making food for when the firefighters return to the hall or bringing food and drink in coolers to the firefighters when needed. During the Main Street fire in May, Bullock said the auxiliary members were bringing food and drinks to the firefighters of all 16 departments that responded to fight the blaze. They also manned the fire hall for exhausted firefighters who came to the hall to take a break.
“When they come back from a fire, they’re exhausted,” Bullock said of the firefighters who volunteer their time. “It’s important that we’re there to lend them this support.”
The support the auxiliary offers the department goes far beyond food and drinks. All proceeds from the fair and any funds the auxiliary raises go to help financially support the department, as well as the community. Bullock said every year the auxiliary purchases a gift given to the department during their annual banquet. The gift generally is something the department needs. At the last banquet, the auxiliary presented the department with a hose nozzle.
“We want it to be something that’s needed,” she said. “It varies depending on the year and what the department needs.”
The funds also have helped with maintenance for the fire hall, helping purchase new blinds and countertops as well as plans to do a general facelift in the kitchen in the coming months.
The auxiliary is also there to support the community. They donate to a number of local charities, hospices, the American Cancer Society and the Wayne County Nursing Home, where they will have tree in the home’s Festival of Trees this holiday season. The auxiliary also has a team that walks in the Stroll for Strong, and last year they gave money to the school district to be given to a student in need at the district’s discretion.
“We’re also here to assist the community,” Bullock said.
This year’s fair, held Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the fire hall on Route 31, next to Breen’s in Palmyra, has a number of vendors with a variety of items available for sale. Bullock said the home crafters will bring homemade creations including wood crafts, painted rocks, crocheted items, painted wine bottles and glass fusion pieces. The craft fair is the place to find that perfect gift, especially for the hard to buy for, Bullock said, simply because of the array of unique items visitors will find.
Auxiliary and fire department volunteers will be in the fire hall early preparing the bays, sweeping the floors, moving the trucks and setting up tables and chairs. The craft fair includes a bake sale by auxiliary members and Sherri’s famous fudge. Buy tickets to win a door prize donated by vendors at the sale. Tickets are $1 each, three for $2 or eight for $5. Special this year, Settler’s Post will be holding its open house event at the fire hall during the craft fair and will have an array of floral arrangements on display.
New vendors are always welcome. The deadline to sign up for this year’s fair is Nov. 1. Call Bullock at 597-2701 to sign up. For $25, vendors get a 6-by-6-foot space to display their wares, and to date, Bullock said, the vendors always leave happy at the end of the day.