Thursday, October 23, 2014

Organizers: Crafts fair drew thousands

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 11/11/2013

The Homemade Holidays Craft Show brought some cheer into the lives of Ottawa Middle School students again this year.

The craft show Saturday at the middle school, 1230 S. Ash St., raised funds for the school’s Academics Attendance Attitude (AAA) program, organizers said. The AAA program rewards students for their academic achievements, good attendance and good conduct.

The Homemade Holidays Craft Show brought some cheer into the lives of Ottawa Middle School students again this year.

The craft show Saturday at the middle school, 1230 S. Ash St., raised funds for the school’s Academics Attendance Attitude (AAA) program, organizers said. The AAA program rewards students for their academic achievements, good attendance and good conduct.

This year’s craft show featured 125 vendors, who displayed mostly handcrafted items of all varieties at their booths, Kathy Turner said. Turner and her son, Shawn Turner, organize the annual show, which drew about 2,500 to 3,000 people Saturday.

“We were very pleased with the attendance,” Kathy Turner said.

The organizers did not have all the numbers tabulated Monday afternoon, but the show typically raises several thousand dollars for the AAA program, Shawn Turner said.

The Turners, who have been organizing the show for the past 15 years, said it would be their last year to put together the event. Both said they have enjoyed organizing the show but thought it was time to give others an opportunity to oversee it.

Carmen Schaefer, OMS principal, thanked the Turners for their work to make the annual show a success.

“The show is a wonderful thing,” Schaefer said. “It was so large it took over the entire school. It trickled into the library and side hallways. There were even some people outside.”

The Turners started accepting booth applications for the show in early July and were full by July 25, with more than 60 vendors on a waiting list for next year, they said.

Scores of holiday shoppers found potential gifts ranging from homemade woodworking crafts, specialty foods and candies, jewelry, quilts and dozens of other items.

The school’s AAA program rewards students for their positive influences on the school by keeping up their grades, displaying a good attitude with no in-school suspensions and maintaining good attendance, Schaefer said.

“Each nine weeks, we do activities and purchase items [to give to students as reward incentives],” Schaefer said. “This program focuses on the positives. It rewards students for making the right choices. The kids know about the program, and they work hard at it each year.”

Students who remain in good AAA standing throughout the school year are rewarded with a trip to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Mo., in the spring.

“The craft show helps pay for that Worlds of Fun trip,” Schaefer said.

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