The 2019 Strawberry Festival: Having fun and helping others

February 15, 2019
By Marcy Shortuse

■ BY SUSAN HANAFEE
Pam Hannah’s dining room table has been covered with papers for the last several months, but it doesn’t bother her. As president of the island’s United Methodist Women, Pam understands that a little clutter – along with a lot of volunteers – is necessary to pull off a successful 2019 Strawberry Festival. The Festival, in its 21st year, will be held Saturday, March 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the grounds of the Boca Grande Community Center and in the Crowninshield House.
It’s a fun-filled event featuring bargain and boutique shops, a silent auction with more than 80 items, books, a Dazzling Digs for jewelry, fun for kids, grilled food and – best of all – delicious strawberry shortcake topped with whipped cream.
And it’s all for a good cause. Last year the Methodist women distributed nearly $60,000 to charities that help women and children in need. Local organizations that received funds included the Boca Grande Child Care Center and Island School, the Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity and Homeless Coalition, Kids Needs of Greater Englewood and SOLVE maternity homes, among others.
In all, more than 20 charities benefitted from the festival proceeds.
“This isn’t just a Methodist project,” says Pam, who also chairs the festival. “We have many faithful volunteers from outside the church who support this effort. And we happily welcome them into our family.”
Items are still needed for the bargain and boutique shops. Contributions can be dropped off of at the Lighthouse Methodist Church office on 3rd Street, Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or at the Crowninshield House on Thursday and Friday before the event.
“We hope to have a big crowd,” Pam says. “Where else can you have so much fun while helping others?”