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Lewis Elementary Holiday Bazaar kicks off the season

by: David F. Ashton This hallway was dedicated for Lewis Elementary’s own students to sell their handmade goods.

Those who drive or bike in the Woodstock area certainly did see banners promoting the Lewis Elementary School's Holiday Bazaar this year, on Saturday, November 5th. All the promotion paid off; the school's cafeteria, hallways, and gym were packed with vendors and shoppers on the big day.

'We've gotten better at putting on the Holiday Bazaar,' said Maria Raleigh, fundraising coordinator for Meriwether Lewis Elementary School PTA. 'This is our fifth annual Holiday Bazaar. About 85 vendors are selling mostly handcrafted items.'

Putting on a successful bazaar of this magnitude takes the efforts of a 'huge group of volunteers,' conceded Raleigh. 'More than 60 people pitched in to help, including passing out postcards and posters, making signs, getting vendors, helping coordinate and set up, and providing food service.'

Asked why so many do so much, Raleigh, replied, 'It's a lot of fun. And, more importantly, it will help us raise more than $6,000 - about 40% of our annual PTA budget.'

Tim Lauer, Principal of Meriwether Lewis Elementary, looked pleased as he squeezed though a doorway filled with busy shoppers. 'This event provides positive outcomes, all the way around,' he observed.

'First, the volunteer spirit is just tremendous. They're here at night and again at 7 this morning, setting things set up. Before that, they reached into the community to find vendors and promote the event. We get so much support from all of these folks.'

The bazaar helps the school's PTA fund staff positions at the school, attendance at OMSI camp for fifth-graders, classroom support and supplies, and much more, Lauer said.

'And, the Holiday Bazaar, itself, is a great community event. It brings people from all over the Portland area together, here in our school. People who may not ever have seen our school come and learn what we're all about.'