Members of the St. Maries Presbyterian Church are all about helping out the community.

Thanks to the church’s annual Christmas Bazaar, enough money is raised each year not only to be used for projects at the church, but also a portion of the funds are given to different organizations around St. Maries.

Church member Penny Carpenter says that her and the rest of the members of their church’s board like to show their support for organizations in St. Maries since so many community members support them.

“This community is so giving and without the support of St. Maries, our bazaar wouldn't be as big as it is,” Ms. Carpenter said.

She said that this last bazaar marked the church’s 39thh year hosting the event and that each year some of the funds are put back into community and church programs.

Ms. Carpenter said that this year the church made over $6,000 and that at least $1,500 of those earnings will go towards three local organizations including the Milling Center, Heyburn Elementary School and the St. Maries Volunteer Health Clinic (SMVHC.)

She said that the Milling Center received $1,000 that will potentially be used for scholarships that will help lower income families pay membership fees for using the center.

Ms. Carpenter also said that $200 went to the Heyburn Elementary and $300 went to the SMVHC to be used at their discretion. She also mentioned that another $3,000 out of their earnings will go towards after school programs and other activities at the church as well as funding for the Second Harvest food truck.

She said that the church’s board members vote to select who they will donate money to each year.

“Who we select depends on need and the committee members voting,” Ms. Carpenter said. “We have about 12 or 13 people on the committee and we voted on what entities to support. We had a long list to choose from.”

Ms. Carpenter said that this year will mark the 40thh year that the Presbyterian Church has been hosting the bazaar and that they look forward to sharing their earnings with the community for many more years to come.

“We just want to give a big thank you to the community and our church,” Ms. Carpenter said. “It’s fun to share the money.”

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