Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Fairfield Women’s Club plans Easter Bazaar
FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield Women’s Club will host its Annual Easter Bake Sale and Bazaar on April 7 at the McElhinny House in Fairfield.
The event will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is open to the public. It will be a chance for residents to pick up their frozen hamball or chicken casserole orders, as well as to pick up freshly baked cookies, pies, breads and brownies. What’s more, the members of the women’s club have prepared at least 100 Easter baskets containing candy, toys, and little trinkets. The club will also be selling its Women’s Club Cookbook, which features recipes for everything from soup, salad, breakfast and dessert.
Orders for the frozen hamball and chicken casserole meals must be placed by March 24 by calling Susan Stickley at 641-472-0013.
Julie Johnston, president of the women’s club, said her group will prepare 200 pounds of ham and 50 pounds of chicken for the bazaar. She said club members spend three days preparing for the event in addition to the day of the sale itself. The members gathered at the McElhinny House on Thursday, March 16 to put the Easter baskets together. They’ll come back on March 27 to cook the ham, and then again on March 31 to cook the chicken.
Johnston said this event seems to be growing in popularity, especially in recent years.
“We’ve increased the number of pounds of meat we’ve done every year,” she said. “We used to do 80 pounds of ham, and now we’re up to 200. People seem to want frozen goods.”
Sometimes, other service organizations will lend a helping hand to the women’s club for their fundraisers. The Fairfield Kiwanis Club and Fairfield Lions Club have pitched in before, and the Lions Club helped deliver meals for the club’s fundraising lasagna lunch on March 14.
The women’s club has 65 members, and it is always looking for more, particularly young members.
“When we say ‘young,’ we mean 65 years old,” Johnston joked.
The club meets for a noon lunch on the third Wednesday of the month, except in January and February. Dues are $25.
When asked what her sales pitch would be to get young people to join, Johnston replied, “To ensure that this 150-year-old house will still be here in another 150 years.”
Club member Donna Clark said she belongs to women’s club because of the camaraderie she feels with the other women, and she likes the feeling of taking care of something historic. Club member Toni Griffith said the women’s club was a great way for her to make friends after she moved to town.
The Easter Bazaar is one of five fundraisers the women’s club hosts every year. Johnston said the club tries to raise about $2,500 from each event. The money from the fundraisers goes toward maintaining the historic McElhinny House, which was built in the 1850s and is considered the town’s first “showplace.” It was built for pioneer merchant Robert McElhinny, who moved his family to town from Pennsylvania after purchasing land in Fairfield for $60 and hiring a carpenter to design a home of Greek revival architecture. Johnston said the McElhinny House is a “beautiful old home I wanted to live in but never could.”
Robert McElhinny died in 1878, and the house remained in the family for another 69 years until it was acquired by the Fairfield Women’s Club in 1933, through a $10,000 bequest from the estate of McElhinny’s daughter, Elizabeth.
Call Andy Hallman at 641-575-0135 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org