As residents in the Sound Shore community slowly regain the rhythm of their former lives that were disrupted by Hurricane Sandy and, yesterday, a Nor’easter that blanketed the area with several inches of snow, the realization that some families are much worse off than before begins to set in.
This Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., St. John’s Episcopal Church in Larchmont will hold their annual Christmas Bazaar at 4 Fountain Sq. which will raise money for local charities that help families in distress, including the Boys and Girls Club, Washingtonville Housing Alliance, Community Counseling Center, the Hispanic Resource Center and At Home on the Sound, among others.
For the Larchmont community, though, the Bazaar’s 86-year tradition is as much a part of the village as the ubiquitous larch trees that line the wide boulevards of the town.
Founded in 1926 by the Episcopal Church Women's (ECW) Group of St. John's, the Bazaar is one of many ways to help the group carry out their out their mission statement: “To offer assistance to individuals in our community experiencing a time of impoverishment - whether it be in terms of economic, physical health, emotional well-being or educational advantage. We provide financial assistance to local agencies that help those in need, with a priority given to assisting women and children in need in our area.”
This year’s Bazaar will include a hodgepodge of different items for sale like crafts from a Nicaraguan community that the church helps to support; Audubon wreaths; custom letters from Santa; baked goods and a “white elephant sale” for gently used children’s clothing, jewelry, toys and other household goods.
One thing missing from years past will be outside vendors, said Jill Simpson, a volunteer at the church.
“It won't be physically smaller than years past, we just wanted to focus on what was best about the Bazaar to make it a very community-centric event, and make it more manageable as a volunteer effort,” she said, continuing, “But it will still fill the Parish Hall to overflowing with booths and items to buy at great bargain prices.”
A silent auction that previously took place at the Bazaar will now be held at a church dinner on a separate night; attendees will be able to “pledge to provide concrete items to families and organizations in need.”
Although the organizers declined to go into specifics about the funds generated by previous events, they did indicate that charities were selected based on current needs, which would presumably include recovery from Hurricane Sandy.
“Some of the organizations that we supported in the past have been able to attract other donors, and we have turned our attention to groups that have more immediate needs. Our basic intent is to support organizations that assist women and children in our area,” said volunteer Janet O’Connell.