In what has become a holiday season tradition, Sue’s Clotheslines is gearing up a silent auction that will raise funds for the Creston Ministerial Association’s annual Christmas hamper program.
“People have supported me for 17 years,” says owner Sue Thomas. “This is my way of giving back to the community.”
She and store clerk Irene Kusiak began their fundraising efforts in 2013, and have since contributed $19,910.76 to the Christmas hampers. Last year, their donation totalled $6,311, with $2,925 raised by the silent auction, and $1,631 by another in-store fundraising. The latter amount was matched by the store.
That fundraising puts a significant dent in the cash needed for the hamper program, which costs the ministerial association about $20,000 each year.
Among the $3,300 in auction items Thomas has collected from local businesses and organizations are a picnic basket, a TV and two Ducks Unlimited Canada prints. There is also a family fun pack from the Source, which includes a water drone and games.
“There are lots of things to do in there to unplug from the world,” she said.
The auction runs Nov. 12-23. Bidders can drop into Sue’s during the day to check out the items, and check out their progress anytime.
“We post the bids in the window each night, and on our Facebook page,” said Thomas. “So everyone knows where the bids start each day.”
While Thomas readily admits she loves Christmas, there is even more excitement this season. For a fifth time, Sue’s Clotheslines has been nominated in the Small Business BC Awards’ Premier’s People’s Choice category. She’s made it to the top 10 twice, and the top 5 once, and she’s hoping the community’s votes — either at sbbcawards.ca or in the store — will push her farther this time.
The nomination, she suspects, has a lot to do with her commitment to supporting the community at Christmas.
“It’s probably one of the reasons I was nominated,” she said. “We’re lucky to be able to do it.”