United Methodist Women announce plans for Strawberry Festival 2022

May 9, 2021
By Marcy Shortuse

STAFF REPORT – The UMW Board has announced that there will be a Strawberry Festival in 2022, on March 5. According to organizers, the event will include some surprises and different activities to delight festival-goers and volunteers. 

United Methodist Women President Peggy Saewert said they are also looking for new ideas and suggestions.

Heading the Strawberry Festival will be Debby Houck, Jan Myers and Elsa Soderberg. 

“They have done a terrific job handling the bargains in the past, and Jan will still be collecting items in her garage,” Saewert said. “New or gently-used items are now being accepted for the Bargain Room and Boutique.”

Call Jan at 964-0562 to arrange your drop-off, or contact the ladies with ideas and suggestions at the following email addresses: Debby Houck (debbyhouck@gmail.com); Jan Myers (jmyersfl@comcast.net); Elsa Soderberg (elsa@ahdee.net).

“Because there will be no large or heavy furniture collected or sold (just very small, unique pieces), the tarmac in front of the Crowninshield will be available for what we believe could be an exciting addition to the festival. Negotiations are underway with a handful of talented, off-island artisans who will be setting up tents and selling their wares, with a portion of their sales to go to the UMW,” Saewert said “Many of these artists, who make their living selling their works, were hard-hit by the pandemic. This will be a rare opportunity for them to tap into the Boca Grande market during high season while benefitting charities in their home communities. We are thrilled about this unusual partnership.” 

The silent auction crew, which includes Jane Caple, Nancy Ireland, Susan Hanafee, Lois Raedeke and Kay Rembold, will swing into action again. They are hoping church members and friends will dig deep into their creativity and come up with special dinners, trips, vacation condos and other items to delight festival-goers. Be thinking over the summer about what you can donate, with an emphasis on activities and the unusual.

Saewert said they will be sharing more festival details as they are finalized. 

“Don’t wait for us to call you: Let us know that you want to be involved,” she said. “Our missions need us now more than ever. Special thanks to Becca deRosa and the others who helped us raise and distribute $25,000 this past year. What a blessing that we were able to help so many in need.”