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Many Hands Make 2018 Great Bend Bazaar a Success

Thanks to Sister Rene Weeks for her photos that brought this article to life!

Preparations for this year’s bazaar really began months ago, but immediate preparations started on Monday, November 5. Thanks to the arrival of Sisters from Ohio, Kentucky, Colorado, Texas, Missouri, and other parts of Kansas, as well as Associates, relatives, and friends of the Congregation from near and far, all went smoothly. Equally as important as the work is the time for visiting with old friends and meeting new ones, praying together, enjoying meals and even a card game or two. We didn’t even mind the heavy snow on Thursday, which kept most of us inside the house, looking at the beauty outside.

An early snow greeted Sisters who traveled to assist with preparations for the Great Bend Mission Bazaar.

The auditorium was arranged in the early part of the week. On Thursday, bazaar preparations went into even higher gear with more people arriving to help. Fruit fillings for the kolaches were cooked, the chicken was diced for the chicken noodle soup, and carrots and celery sliced into relish sticks.

On Friday one crew dealt with all the sweetbreads and muffins that had been baked and frozen over the past months, sorting and pricing them for sale. Other crews staffed the bakery, first making kolaches and later in the day cinnamon rolls. Wonderful aromas wafted around the house! Meanwhile, pies were being baked at other locations in town. Friday afternoon the first shoppers (Sisters, Associates, and employees) visited the bazaar and made their purchases. To view more photos of the preparations, please click here.

Sisters price breaks and other baked goods.

Saturday morning dawned clear and cold. As always, the first shoppers (about 50 of them) lined up in the hallway well before seven in the morning while workers gathered in the auditorium for a brief prayer led by Sistar Eloise. Then the doors opened, and shopping began. The routine is well-established for most of those who come regularly -- first off to the jellies and the homemade noodles, then to check out the crafts, and finally to the checkout booth. (We’re always grateful for the youth from the Olmitz parish, who provide carryout services for those with heavily laden boxes.) After purchases have been made in the auditorium, it’s time to buy tickets for the basket raffle, look over the silent auction items, and enjoy either breakfast and/or lunch in the dining room. For photos of the Bazaar, click here.

Shoppers enjoy handcrafted gifts at the Great Bend Bazaar.

The dining room was filled with people when the time arrived for the drawings, first for the thirteen theme baskets, then for the main raffle and finally for the special raffle. With the final winner announced, the bazaar officially ended. All that remained was the cleanup! Many hands made light work of that, too.

One Sister who was here for the first time, when asked for her impressions after the week’s work, said, “I was most struck by the tremendous sense of community among everyone.” With that sense of community late Saturday afternoon we gathered to celebrate Eucharist with our Dominican brother Ed Ruane as we gave thanks for another successful bazaar.  

Initial figures show a revenue increase of about 5%. Expenses still need to be subtracted, and we hope for more sales and donations. The final total for the 2018 bazaar will be available on December 31, 2018. Thanks to everyone for the wonderful support not only on bazaar day itself but throughout the year.


Sapphire/Diamond Earrings/Pendant - Ofelia Lopez, GardenCity, KS
Hand Stitched Large Quilt - NitaTrautham, Leeds, AL
Quarter Beef - BrendaFish, Wichita, KS
Quarter Beef - Shirley Rueb, Wichita, KS|
Quarter Beef - Ada Leiker, GreatBend,KS
Quarter Beef - Albert/ReneHeier, Springfield, VA                 
Hand Turned Wooden Bowl - Marilyn Small, Cimarron, KS
Hand Sculpted Santa -  Diane Simons, Kingman, KS
$150 Cash  - Darrell Dome, Abilene, KS
$150 Cash  - Judy Ochs, Great Bend, KS
Child’s Rocker - Teresa Boatright, Dodge City, KS
$100 Gift Card Northview Nursery  - Sr. Maria Ciriello, Akron, OH
$100 Gift Card Kwik Shop - Michael Oborny, Rush Center, KS
$100 Gift Card Stutzman Greenhouse  - Art Medina, Garden City, KS
$75 Cash - John Lang, Port Jeff Station, NY
$75 Cash - Cindy Voegeli, Mt. Hope, KS
$50 Cash - Anita Patterson Kiowa, KS
$50 Cash - Chris Christenon, Greensburg, KS
$50 Cash - Theresa Hatcher, Bennettsville, SC
$50 Gift Card Walmart - Margie Leis, OverlandPark, KS
$50 Gift Card Walmart - JoAnn Juneau, Garden City, KS

$175 Cash has been donated to the Bazaar
Quarter Beef has been donated to the Great Bend Motherhouse

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