An annual tradition that’s more than 25 years old returns this Saturday. Yes, it’s time once again for the Coleman Junior High Old Fashioned Craft Show.
Organizer Kim Kriegel heads up the event, which serves to benefit Waxahachie ISD students in need – and there are definitely needs to be served, she said, encouraging the community to turn out once again in support.
“We’ll have more than one hundred booths with almost every kind of handmade item and craft available,” she said, noting a small admission fee of $3 at the door.
Additional activities include the opportunity to take a photograph with Santa Claus from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for a small fee that serves as a fundraiser for Finley Junior High’s Traveling Warriors.
This year, the concessions booth will be run by Project Graduation.
The Old Fashioned Craft Show draws upon the volunteer work of more than four dozen teachers who help staff the event alongside about 100 WISD varsity and JV student-athletes and student club members from both of the district’s high schools who provide setup and takedown assistance for the vendors as well as running errands.
“It’s a very popular show,” Kriegel said, noting there’s “a lot” of return customers and familiar faces she sees each year. “Someone told me just the other day that it’s just a Waxahachie tradition.”
Kriegel shared with the Sun that the primary need being funded at this time is that of food.
“Kids are coming to school hungry and a lot of our money is going to that,” she said, noting the fund also helped provide some items for a student whose family had to move out of an abusive situation. In another case, a grandmother had to take in two of her grandchildren and needed some assistance. A family medical emergency left another student without any money to start the school year – and the fund was able to step in and provide a clothing stipend.
“We just help out wherever we can,” Kriegel said. “A counselor or principal calls (the fund’s committee) and says, ‘This is a need,’ and we fill it until we run out of money.
On average, the craft fair brings in from $7,000 to $8,000 each year.
“We would love to raise $10,000,” Kriegel said, noting that donations are accepted. “That’s why we do this, the crafts fair, it’s to raise money for whatever is needed. The fund is there to help any kid that needs help for whatever they need.”
Upcoming immediate needs will see the fund helping WISD students with food over the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks.
“The biggest need right now is food and we feel like we’ll buy a lot of food over the holidays,” Kriegel said, noting that, “Pretty much we run out of money every year. Sometimes we’re able to carry forward a little bit. But, already this year, a family has had a pressing need.”
Besides raising more money, Kriegel and the committee hope to get the fund to a point where there’s actually a cushion in place in the event of something catastrophic occurring.
At its inception, the craft fair served as a fundraiser for the local ATPE chapter of educators to provide scholarships. It’s always been held at what is now Coleman Junior High, with only a two-year hiatus in its longevity.
It was on that hiatus and while she was still teaching, Kriegel recalls being approached by then high school principal David Nix, who asked her to resurrect the craft fair – and to use the money raised to help the high school’s students who were in need of some type of assistance, whether that was clothing, school supplies, food or other. Kriegel and her committee got the craft fair up and going again – and it’s continued ever since, with the fund also expanding to now serve students across the district.
The retired educator and now school board member encourages the community to attend the Old Fashioned Craft Show this Saturday – and to do so knowing that they’ll be making an impact on a number of students’ lives by doing so.
“I like to say that our show runs from HEB to Walmart (along the Coleman campus’ hallways),” Kriegel said with a smile. “We’ve got a grand prize drawing for $100 and hourly door prize drawings. It’s all for a good cause and we’d love to see everyone out there.”
For more information, contact Kriegel at email@example.com.