HERKIMER – Herkimer County Humane Society board members held their annual craft fair at Herkimer High School Oct. 21, drawing their biggest crowd yet of both vendors and shoppers, said board member Robert Schrader.
“We’re bigger than last year,” Schrader said Saturday afternoon as he served chili and bread to a craft fair shopper. “We’ve seen a lot of volume today and a lot of new vendors. This show has really grown a lot since we started five years ago. And we have to thank all our volunteers for that,” he continued. “We really want to stress how much we appreciate everyone who has helped us out.”
Among the major donors to this year’s event were Heidelberg Bakery, Flat Iron Pizza, Kelly’s Meat Market, Staff Works and Holland Farms, Schrader said. Many other volunteers donated baskets to be won via silent auction.
All money raised at the craft fair through the auction, food vending and vendor booth fees goes directly to the animal shelter.
“We’re always looking for support in donations of money and supplies,” noted Board President Cathy Winston. “We say it all the time because it’s so important for people to realize: Our annual budget is raised almost entirely by donation.”
Winston said that of the shelter’s $276,000 annual operating budget, $15,000 comes from the county, and the rest comes from fundraisers and donations.
“That’s a big amount to raise,” she pointed out. “And we thank everyone for coming out today to support us.”
Among those shopping the fair were Sue Fox with Lesli Allen and Lana Joanne, all from Little Falls.
“Both the crafts and the humane society brought us out here today,” Fox said as she and Allen perused wares in the high school gymnasium with arms already full of bags. “We’ve come to past ones. We like it. And it’s even bigger than usual this year.
“There’s a lot of nice vendors here. We’ve spent too much already,” she added with a laugh. “The very first booth when we came in, we found things to buy.”
If you missed the craft fair at the Herkimer High School, you may get another chance next month. Humane society board members are currently working with the mayor of Middleville to hold another craft fair at the Middleville poll barn before Thanksgiving, Schrader said.
“The mayor came to us offering the space,” he said. “It’s a big heated barn. We’re inviting all the vendors here today to join us there as well.”
Schrader advised those interested to keep an eye on the shelter’s facebook page (facebook/herkimercounty.humanesociety) and website (herkhumane.org) for details as plans for that craft fair are finalized. Anyone with questions or looking to help out is invited to call Winston at 315-429-3648 or 315-868-5467.