Successful bazaar keeps on keeping on

Measure of success . . . Altrusa Oamaru members Ann Stewart (left) and Jeanette Halcrow hard at work sorting and measuring material in preparation for the annual Bazaar. PHOTO: ASHLEY SMYTH

Every year the women of Altrusa Oamaru think this might be their final bazaar, and every year the donations keep on coming.

More than 100 cartons of fabric have already been collected for the sale, which will take place on August 6›7. Then there was the haberdashery, yarn, crafts, patterns, bags, scarves and jewellery on top of that, Altrusa Oamaru service committee chairwoman Robyn Moynihan said.

The fundraiser had been running for about eight years, and made a ‘‘surprising amount of money’’.

‘‘People are actually waiting for it. They come down from Timaru and up from Dunedin and they’re ringing now to say, ‘When is it on?’,’’ Mrs Moynihan said.

Altrusa liaison Lynne Isbister said people had been ‘‘very generous’’ with their donations, which had been coming in ‘‘thick and fast’’.

‘‘Each year, we think ‘Ooh, we haven’t got as much as last year, have we got enough?’ But we always do.’’

The sale takes place at the Scottish Hall, in Tyne St, and runs from 1pm to 4pm on the Saturday, and 9.30am to 1pm on the Sunday.

The women could not remember who first had the idea to the run the bazaar, but now other Altrusa clubs around the country were following suit, based on Oamaru’s success.

They expected the event would raise at least $4000, but it was sometimes ‘‘quite a bit more’’, Mrs Moynihan said.

‘‘We keep thinking that there’s an end to it, that this year this might be the end to it. Last year it was, ‘Well everyone’s been tidying up because of Covid’. We’re kind of running out of reasons, but it just keeps coming.’’

This was the main fundraiser for the group, and the money went towards several causes including the Waitaki Adult Learning Trust, Books for Babies, tertiary awards for St Kevin’s College and Waitaki Girls’ High School pupils, and Santa to a Senior — a collaboration with the rest homes, which ensured residents who had no family still received Christmas presents.

Altrusa was also involved in the setting up and helping with ongoing costs of Oamaru House, near Dunedin Hospital, which provided accommodation for Oamaru people who had family members receiving hospital treatment.

Donations for the bazaar would be received upuntil the day of the event, and could be taken to Real Food Pantry on Eden St.

There were nearly 30 members of Oamaru Altrusa, and Mrs Moynihan estimated they would spend more than 1000 hours measuring, counting and pricing items, in the build› up to the event.

All the goods were stored at the home of Mrs Isbister and husband Murray, and congregating there was one of the enjoyable aspects of the fundraiser, Mrs Moynihan said.

‘‘That’s the fun part of being in a club, is getting together and doing things like this.’’

The event was cash only, and customers needed to bring their own bags to carry purchases.

A quilt made from a carton of fabric squares donated for last year’s Bazaar also raised $400 on Trade Me.