29 Jun Sacred Heart reports successful ‘Stay at Home Bazaar’ this year
The 2020 edition of the Sacred Heart Bazaar may not have included a gym and parking lot full of people, but it did include a sense of community, coming together for a meaningful purpose and a lot of money raised for the school. In lieu of the usual large dinner and midway event, organizers elected to host a virtual bazaar – coined as the “Stay at Home Bazaar.”
Held the week the bazaar would normally occur – June 1-5 – event committee members asked parents, alumni, parishioners and community supporters to consider what they would normally have donated or spent at the bazaar and to instead make a tax-deductible donation in that amount. Families were encouraged to think about all they would have spent in donations toward the purchase of raffle prizes, buying bingo prizes or baking pies, providing or buying silent auction items, and paying for dinners and games, and to make their donation accordingly.
“As is typical of our school family and our community, our people certainly showed up for us, albeit virtually” said Director of Development Alisha Koonce. The committee set a goal to raise at least $80,000 – a conservative expectation $35,000 less than the usual net revenue for the event, in respect to the uncertain economic climate.
The school raised more than $148,000, far exceeding the goal and the amount raised in past years.
“To say we are elated is an understatement,” said Koonce. “Like all schools and businesses, we face an uncertain school year. We rely on fundraisers and donations for nearly 50 percent of our budget and at this point, we don’t know which, if any, we will be able to host this year. This gives us a little cushion going into the school year.”
The school board recently released the following statement to parents: “We have made adjustments to our budget, realizing that some fundraisers will not be able to proceed this school year, and we were still able to balance the budget with no adverse consequences to our school. We have also received financial support through the CARES Act. We are in good financial shape and the incredible support for the ‘Stay at Home Bazaar’ only strengthened our position.”
More than 500 gifts were made to the virtual bazaar by people locally, but also from all across the country. “I was so encouraged to see donations that came from people who were not even in our mailing list – people who heard about or saw it online, who may have normally attended and so instead they sent in a gift,” said Koonce.
However, the school does not anticipate making this an annual tradition. “We expect and hope to be serving spaghetti, calling bingo, auctioning and raffling items, and enjoying the fellowship of our community again next year.” Koonce added.
Principal Buddy Greeson was appreciative of the support. “It is with great humility and amazement that I would like to express my gratitude to all of you for the immense success of our ‘Stay at Home Bazaar.’ Nothing humbles a person more than witnessing the work of the Holy Spirit through the actions of others,” he said. “For the generosity of each and every person who contributed to make this bazaar such a great success, I want to deeply thank you.”
Sacred Heart is looking forward to a successful school year and appreciates all those who supported the event. More information about the school and bazaar is available at sacredheartmorrilton.org.