Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, November 9, 1998

'Christmas Connection' to benefit Habitat for Humanity

By. Rev. Sherri Sandoz
Bethel Lutheran Church, Lester Prairie

There is a lot of excitement in Lester Prairie as the entire community gears up for fun and festivity in a unique fundraising event to benefit Crow River Habitat for Humanity Saturday, Nov. 14.

The event is called the Christmas Connection and is designed to offer Christmas shoppers a host of gift ideas in addition to benefiting Habitat for Humanity.

Spearheaded by the churches of Lester Prairie, residents are being encouraged to attend the fundraiser to help a McLeod County neighbor in need of affordable housing.

Lester Prairie is one of five communities in the county to host the Christmas Connection. Other communities include Hutchinson, Glencoe, Stewart, and Silver Lake. All fundraisers occur simultaneously Nov. 14.

The Christmas Connection of Lester Prairie is being hosted by Bethel Lutheran Church.

Youth groups and women's organizations from all the Lester Prairie churches have combined to provide a bake sale and fresh hot cookies. Though these goodies can weaken the resolve of many a weight watcher, the culinary treats are just the beginning.

The primary impetus of the fundraiser lies with the various home distributors invited to display their wares. One can view a number of unique product lines, and then book a party for friends.

The Lester Prairie fundraiser will host Weekenders USA, Discovery Toys, Watkins, Longaberger, Partylite Gifts, Pampered Chef, Christmas Around the World, and Stampin' Up.

Ten percent or more of the proceeds of all parties booked at this event will be turned over to Crow River Habitat for Humanity of Hutchinson.

For the enjoyment of the smallest citizens, a clown will be on hand to help out at the fish pond. In addition, a face painter will enhance their smiling cherub faces with the likes of flowers and butterflies. Clean, used toys, sure to keep kids occupied, will be available for sale ­ cheap!

Besides the aroma of fresh baked cookies, barbeque pork will fill the air as the Lester Prairie Lions serve sandwiches, chips and pickles from a lunch cart. If enticing aromas aren't enough, musical notes will also fill the air as wandering minstrels serenade with Christmas selections.

Artwork is available both to purchase and appreciate. Local artisans will be on hand to sell their handcrafted Christmas items.

The youth of Lester Prairie have been busy, too. School children were asked to reproduce the concept of "poverty" in black and white media. The public is invited to put it all in perspective by viewing their unique display in the church sanctuary.

Habitat for Humanity was founded on a single Biblical concept: Christians sharing their abundance to capitalize the construction of modest, well-built homes. Building costs would be kept to a minimum through the use of volunteer labor. No interest on home loans would ever be charged (Exodus 22:25).

The churches of Lester Prairie encourage the public to respond to this unique opportunity to serve those less fortunate by attending the Christmas Connection at Bethel Lutheran Church, 77 Lincoln Ave. N., between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m on Saturday, Nov. 14.


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