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Craft Fairs, Craft Fairs, and More Craft Fairs

If you were driving around Barrington on Saturday, November 9th, 2019, you probably noticed that there were many craft fairs going on. We provided coverage to three of the craft fairs, in the following order:

  1. Barrington Friends of Music Craft Fair, held at Barrington Middle School from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  2. Barrington Women’s Club Annual Craft Fair held at the American Legion Hall, which is in the basement of the Chapel Nativity, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  3. Joseph’s Storehouse Presents the 2nd Annual Craft & Vendor Holiday Festival to benefit Joseph’s Storehouse Food Pantry, held at Journey Church from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Barrington Friends of Music Craft Fair held at Barrington Middle School was the biggest event, which has been held for many years now. Upon entering the Craft Fair, we spoke to some of the organizations that were outside near the entrance.

Gregory Friend is the Troop Master of Trail Life USA Troop NH-0777, which is sponsored by the First Congregational Church of Barrington. Trail Life USA is a Christian version of the Boy Scouts, and they teach boys and young men how to be godly by teaching them leadership skills, stewardship, and how to provide service to their community by being a solid member of their community when they are adults.

They’ve been a troop for about 6 years now. Their troop activities include campouts, hikes, developing outdoors skills, and they teach boys and young men how to use personal resources wisely. They also teach how to serve our country and community.

The troop’s volunteerism includes helping at the American Legion, helping members of the community with yard work, and service projects, such as helping to clean up graveyards where there are veterans’ graves. One member re-floored the local Food Pantry, while another project connected Barrington Middle School to the Barrington Police Department by making a decal for police vehicles.

We then spoke to volunteers of the Friends of the Barrington Library, a group that supports the library. They have three raffle baskets, that can be won by purchasing tickets at the Library after today. The winners will be drawn on the night of the Soiree on December 6th, 2019. It benefits the Friends of the Barrington Library, which will, in turn, provide children’s programs, magazine programs, and summer reading programs for the Barrington Public Library.

Next, we spoke to Roger Gingrich with the new Barrington Library Project. He said they’re trying to get information out that voters can use at the polls. The vote for the new Barrington Library Project will be held on March 10th, 2020. He provided us three documents with information for voters that you can download. He said, “It feels like you’re out on a lake, and suddenly there’s a crosswind” when asked how he thought the outreach program was doing.

Roger Gingrich said that if we pass the new library project on the March 10th vote, Barrington Middle School will be paid off 1 year after it passes – so this is a possible negative issue for the library warrant article. He said, “In the end, we’ve got to inform people that this is a need.” He noted that building costs have gone up 7% in the past year. He said, “We’re hopeful that the good things this brings will be recognized.”

We also spoke with Lisa Titus, the fundraising chairwoman for the Special Olympics – Team Barrington, that was offering bags donated by Stonewall Kitchen in return for donations. The bags could then be used to carry items that customers purchased at today’s craft fair. It’s a great way for the kids to fundraise, instead of programs like selling candy door-to-door. There is a total of 75 combined partners, athletes, and coaches in the group. Lisa said that other seacoast towns such as Dover, Farmington, Lee, and Durham don’t have Special Olympics programs, so they will often find Team Barrington and participate with them.

Team Barrington is open to kids age 8 to adults. They compete in bowling, snowshoeing, basketball, track & field, and softball. It’s a year-round program. The kids practice Track & Field starting in April, and then there’s a regional event in May, and then there’s the UNH Summer Games in June. They raise money to pay for the final events, which can cost $75 per each athlete, coach, and partner. Partners help to make sure the kids are going in the right direction when playing sports. The program provides a way for the kids to have something of their own, when they may not fit into mainstream programs, according to Titus.

Inside the craft fair at Barrington Middle School, there were probably nearly 100 vendors, which were selling various items including crafts, books, food including cheese and jelly, woodworking items, glass items, Christmas ornaments, and clothing accessories. We spoke to Pat Gingrich that was there with her business called “The Gingrich Family Busyness”, and she was selling teapot covers that keep your tea hot while you’re having a tea party with your friends. She had dozens of fabric designs that she had created that pop over a standard white thermal shield, which keeps the tea hot.

There was a group called “Help Educate Haiti”, which is a group of 8th graders raising $10,000 to build a school in Haiti. It’s run through the WE organization at WE.org. More than 4,000 schools were lost in the 2010 earthquake and many children lost their chance of receiving an education. The school would be about the size of Barrington Middle School, according to Stephanie Hadden, who was collecting donations. It’s amazing how much money from the United States can get in other, poorer countries, but these countries need help from us more than ever.

We traveled to the Barrington Women’s Club’s Annual Craft Fair, which was being held at the American Legion. It’s usually held every November and Kathe Houst said that it’s common to have lots of craft fairs on the same day in Barrington. She said one person was in line for a parking spot at Barrington Middle School for 30 minutes and ended up coming to the Women’s Club Craft Fair instead. There were less than a dozen vendors, some of which were members, and some were friends of members. The rest of the small room was full of crafts and items that were donated to the club to sell and raise money.

The American Legion made an agreement with the church to renovate the basement, and with permission, they re-did the floor, plumbing, lights, and put tables in. It’s been a very nice venue to use, according to Kathe Houst. She noted that on Monday, it’s Veteran’s Day, and there will be a free lunch for all veterans at this location. The event will start out at the cemetery at 11 a.m.

Barrington Women’s Club has a raffle that will be going through December, in which many winners will receive gift cards from local businesses that donated them. The proceeds will go towards giving out scholarships to Barrington High School Seniors. The club currently has around 35 to 40 active members, according to Marie Raas. They meet on the second Wednesday of the month for most months, except for January (when it’s too cold) and in July (in the middle of summer).

The Barrington Women’s Club does do an outing in July. They also donate to 68 Hours of Hunger (Barrington). At Christmas time, they get the names of local families from Barrington Food Pantry, and through Adopt-A-Family, they provide the children of these families the things that they want off their wish lists. The Women’s Club also has an annual yard sale every September, and an auction in October for their members and their guests. In June, they have a Lady’s Tea Party.

The Women’s Club in Barrington has its meetings from 11:30 a.m. to about 1:30 p.m. Sometimes they have speeches like they had recently when the Barrington Police Department informed them about scams. Their meetings generally start out with business activities, and then a program, such as a the get-to-know-you better activity of matching baby pictures to current members. If you’re interested in joining the Barrington Women’s Club, please contact them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BarringtonWomensClub/.

We then traveled to the Holiday Craft Fair for Joseph’s Store House, which is the food pantry at the Journey Baptist Church. This is the 2nd Annual Holiday Craft Fair at Journey Church, and all proceeds from the event are going to the food pantry. Joseph’s feeds around 100 families a month currently, in both the seacoast and lakes regions. Joseph’s is a ministry of the Journey Church.

About 200 people attend Journey Church. They just did a Truck or Treat event – which between that and the Craft Fair, are their biggest fundraisers. They currently have a mission, led by Rob Willis, the lead pastor, in the Dominican Republic. The church has sponsored 50 children, and the group is there sponsoring them to get their electricity restored, and they brought much needed medical supplies.

Christmas services are coming up at Journey Baptist Church, and normal Sunday services are held from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. – Journey Baptist Church is located at 8 Eastern Ave in Barrington, New Hampshire, located right next to First Seacoast Bank. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.thejourneynh.com/