St Olaf Craft fair in conjunction with Mr. and Mrs. Santa went off with a bang on Saturday December 9.
Several hundred locals supported the 2006 St Olaf craft fair at the auditorium, Santa and his elves were across the street giving out gifts. The Mayor of St Olaf, Dave Doersher, attended with his wife, Sandy, and daughter Cara.
Ruth Hilgerson, director of Shepherd of the hills, was also present. Hilgerson said that the event was a money making venture for the UFFDA committee.
“UFFDA is a kind of Norwegian wag – if a cow whacks you in the face with a wet tail, you say UFFDA,”she said, explaining the meaning of UFFDA, which is not an abbreviation in the traditional sense.
“The proceeds keep the St Olaf auditorium going, it pays for the building,” she said. “We have about two fundraisers a year. We use the auditorium for wedding receptions, anniversaries, the holiday shop and the UFFDA Daze in June,” she added.
Hilgerson’s daughters and grandchildren were also helping out. Utoni Ruff, Clayton County Food Shelf Supervisor, was also present with her three year old daughter, McKenzie.
The Leapin Lenas, part of the UFFDA Daze, cooked the food that was for sale: Beef sandwiches, assorted pies, cold sandwiches of ham or peanut butter and coffee, were all served with a smile.
Monona local, Sharon DeSotel, of Sharon’s handicrafts, displayed her goods. DeSotel has been in business for 38 years and has been in Monona for seven years.
“For thirty odd years I’ve been doing flea markets and fairs. I’ve been doing St Olaf for three or four years,” DeSotel said.
Some of the delightful crafts that she displayed were made by her husband, Wayne, who was also present. Wayne received an order for 25 of his beautifully carved eagles on the day; the eagles hold commemorative quarter coins. He has sold hundreds of them, he said. Wayne also makes cute little bi-planes and tractors out of corn cobs.
Another quaint feature of the fair was Michelle Krugger’s wooden ornaments. Pam Frye explained that Krugger makes ornaments and hand paints them when the child gets through talking to Santa; she paints the child’s name and date on the ornament.
Larry and Michelle Krugger, of Luana, displayed other creative items for the garden. They have an ebay store: Creative Lawn Art.
Marla Miene, Mrs. Santa, a local artist, drew about 150 portraits for free.
“I think I’ve been doing this for about six years, I do it for Judy Meyer in memory of her son, Nathan Meyer,” Miene said.
There are two benches outside the auditorium that read ‘Forever Missed,’ which commemorate two youngsters killed in a car accident, Nathan Meyer, 1980 to 1999, and Logan Glawe, 1984 to 1999.
Mayor Doersher said that they are trying to raise money that will go towards the restorations of the auditorium building.
“We have done a lot for the betterment of the community, we raised the money for the playground in 2004, we got the grant for that, but some of the swings were put in by the UFFDA committee,” he said. “Each year this event gets bigger, so we want to thank the people who came today – and the volunteers, because we couldn’t do it without their help,” he said.
Doersher pointed out that they got a grant for the heating system and the wiring; the grants were written by the UFFDA committee.
“This building is on the National Historic list,” he said. “We retained all of the old stone in this 1939 building. It was built in Roosevelt’s era when he made jobs for the people and this was one of his projects,” Doersher explained.