The St. Andrew’s United Church Hall was once more filled with the smell of tea and baked goods along with the chatter of dozens of attendees to the Order of the Eastern Star’s annual Tea, Bake Sale and Market.
Held every year to raise money for the organization, this event regularly attracts many lakecity residents keen to enjoy some tea and company. This year it was once more organized by dozens of order members including Val Fleming.
Fleming has been a member for around 25 years and said the Order has been in Williams Lake since 1952 and in that time has done lots of work for charities within the community and donated money to many of them. Each year they also offer a bursary, Fleming said, at the high school level and works with various provincial charities as well, such as making bandages for cancer patients.
“We’re the largest fraternal organization in the world. We are associated with the Master Masons and also with the Shrine Club. We have about 40 members in Williams Lake and always, of course, looking for new people to join up,” Fleming said.
In addition to being their prime fundraising event each year, Fleming said the tea is just a fun excuse to get together with your friends and reconnect with one another. In addition to the tea and bake sale, with Fleming, they also have a mini market of five vendors selling craft goods.
She said they hoped to raise around $2,000 in profit which, judging by the crowd size, Fleming said should be easily attainable.
They also held a raffle with a hamper of food valued at $400 as well.
“Most clubs (like us) are becoming a thing of the past so supporting us here at a function like this is hopefully bringing acknowledgment to our organization and encouraging other people to join, plus we support local,” Fleming said.
After deducting their $500 bursary available at the high school level, she said the rest of the money they raise will be donated to the Cariboo Memorial Hospital Trust.