Spencer plans fall festival
By Kenny Keane,
Globe staff writer
Posted Oct.10, 2002
SPENCER - "Under the Sea" is the theme for Sacred Heart Parish and
School's 10th Annual Fall Festival to be held Saturday, Nov. 9 at the convention
center in Spencer.
The annual festival is "sort of an all-evening event", according to
Peg Deffer, one of the eight festival chairs. It is a fundraising event which
benefits the parish in general, but with a K-6 school, Deffer said "an
awful lot of the parish resources are dedicated to the school."
The festival will get underway at 2 p.m., with live and silent auction items
on display for viewing until 4 p.m., followed by a Saturday evening Mass, which
has been rescheduled from 5:30 to 4:30. The convention center opens for some
social time and viewing of the auction items at 5:30, with dinner being served
at 6:30. The silent auction will be closing as the live auction, run by Clinton
Jones, begins at 7:30.
There will be a break in the middle of the live auction to play five games of
"Reverse BINGO", where the last one standing is the winner and will
receive a prize. Those who wish to participate will purchase a BINGO card for $5
After the live auction concludes, a DJ will get the dance started, bringing
an end to the festival around midnight.
The evening also includes two raffles; one small and one big. Tickets for the
small raffle are $5 each, with prizes being certificates to grocery stores and
for gas. The big raffle, as the name may suggest, offers larger prizes but at a
higher price, with only 400 tickets being sold at $100 a piece for large cash
prizes. The grand prize is $10,000, but there are also four prizes at $1,000
each, five prizes at $500 each and 10 prizes at $250 each. Anyone who buys a
ticket has at least a one in 20 chance of winning some cash.
The live auction has approximately 50 items including: store gift
certificates, school tuition, TVs, one week at a cabin, a gallon of ice cream
each week for a year, a leather recliner chair, trips, a bike and tickets to
sporting events (such as Vikings', Hawkeyes' or Cyclones' football games). Other
parishioners have donated their time and talents, including the class rooms at
school which hold fundraisers and donate items to the auction.
The goal and the average amount raised each year by the festival is usually
"We try not to increase our goal every year," Deffer said. "We
decided that was unrealistic because we are approaching maximum attendance of
Deffer shares her responsibility as chair with her husband Phil, as well as
Joe and Susie Baxter, John and Susan Zulk and Troy and Kim Upah, who are also
chairs for this year's festival. The Deffers and Baxters are serving as chairs
for the second consecutive year, while the Zulks and Upah are in their first
year as chairs. Serving as a chair is a two-year commitment, with those in the
first year being a trainee and those in the second year serving as a trainer.
Susie Baxter said that for the past two years, they've created a way for the
local businesses to get involved without just being asked for a donation.
"What we've done is offered them the opportunity to advertise in our
booklet," she said. "This way, they might feel as if they're getting
more back then they would if they just donated some item."
Baxter and her husband have lived in Spencer for about five years. She said
the first year when they received an invitation to the festival they did not
attend because they knew nothing about it, but they've been involved ever since.
"The next year, I did start hearing about it and heard that most of the
money does go towards the school," said Baxter, whose children have all
gone to Sacred Heart. "A big benefit for me is that I got to know so many
people, and I feel like I'm personally contributing towards helping pay for my
kids education, not just through tuition, but through any other means I can. I
just think it's a super way to support the education of the children."