For the sixth year, Sue Thomas is preparing to host a fundraiser at her downtown store, her way of contributing to the Creston Ministerial Association’s annual Christmas hamper drive.
Running Nov. 12-24, the fundraiser includes a silent auction on display in the store next to Sue’s Clotheslines and the sale of other items. Thomas’s goal is to donate $5,000 this year, a significant addition to the $13,599.76 she donated from 2013-2017.
“I love my community,” said Thomas. “I’ve been very fortunate living and working here. I’ve had lots of support and I want to give back.”
It costs about $20,000 each year to offer the hamper program, which provides books, toys, food and more to over 400 families, a significant percentage of Creston’s population.
“I was blown away when I heard those numbers,” said Thomas.
She and store clerk Irene Kusiak sold crafts to raise funds in 2013 and 2014. They added the silent auction in 2015, and the store began matching other funds raised by the sale of other items throughout the year.
This year, the silent auction items range from a gift basket of pet items to a night at the Ramada and donors from the Creston Golf Club to notary Lorne Mann. The fundraiser also includes a featured artist, Wendy Franz, who will have a painting in the auction, and smaller canvases and greeting cards for sale.
Much more will also be available, some solicited by Thomas and some donated without encouragement — and all for a worthy cause.
“I just happen to be the facilitator,” said Thomas. “I just do a bit of footwork and remind people about giving.”