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Special to The PREVIEW
Final preparations are being made for the eighth annual Shamrock Festival, a major fund-raising event sponsored each year by St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.
All of the proceeds from the festival are designated to support local non-profit organizations. This year’s festival begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17, with an enormous yard sale under the tent. But that is just the beginning of a day filled to the brim with fun activities.
“The Shamrock Festival is a huge undertaking for our parish,” says Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s. “Any one of the events of the day would be considered a major fund-raiser for most non-profits. Our festival includes, a big tent yard sale, a used book sale, two raffle drawings, a dinner under the tent, and a magnificent silent auction. This is a church-wide effort, one that requires a lot of energy from a lot of dedicated parishioners. The payoff is that our church does not need to budget money for outreach from our church pledges. The money that we bring in from the Shamrock Festival provides significant gifts to worthy non-profits across our community, including our own food pantry, and allows us to be far more generous than we otherwise could be. The amount the festival garners has increased each year, thanks to our generous community and the hard work of our parishioners.”
Women of the church began work in March on a beautiful handmade queen-sized bed comforter (it will also cover a king sized bed), and matching pillows. This year’s quilt includes shades of blue, beige and rust and will be a beautiful decorative addition in the home of the lucky winner. The women named this year’s quilt “San Juan Streams” because the colors remind them of the beautiful flowing waters of the San Juan Mountains.
Quilt raffle tickets are sold individually for $1, six for $5, or in packets of 12 tickets for $10. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased (while they last) up until the drawing at the festival dinner under the tent. The quilt raffle alone brings in $5,000 each year to assist local non-profit agencies.
Not to be outdone by the women of the church, the men of St. Patrick’s have put together a raffle that fly fishing aficionados are drooling over — a handmade R.L. Winston 4 wt./4 pc. flyrod and case, a Lamson Konic reel, along with fly fishing gear and supplies, topped off by a guided fishing expedition to choice waters.
“Our friend, Pops, at one of our local fly shops, has looked at the rod and deemed this a major prize that any fly fishing sportsperson should be thrilled to win,” says Fr. Doug. Tickets are $20 each and only 300 will be sold. “As much as I enjoy fly fishing (my wife thinks I’m addicted!), I have never had the resources to invest in equipment of this caliber. I am investing in tickets and hoping mightily to be the winner,” says Neel.
The Shamrock Festival schedule includes:
• 8 a.m. yard sale under the giant tent behind the church.
• 4–6 p.m. cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
• 4:30-6 p.m. silent auction.
• 6 p.m. homemade lasagna dinner (vegetarian included), under the tent; $20.
• 7-7:30 p.m. final silent auction bidding opportunity.
The Shamrock Festival is an event anticipated by the entire Pagosa Springs community. It is an opportunity to come together, have fun, buy some great new and used items, enjoy a wonderful meal under the tent and, most importantly, help provide funding for many worthy non-profits in our community.
For more information on how to purchase raffle tickets, meal tickets, or making donations to the yard sale or silent auction, call the church office at 731-5801.