Sayre Fair Benefits Big Cat Rescue

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Spring craft fair opens in Sayre

Published: Saturday, June 13, 2009 3:13 AM EDT

SAYRE — Friday marked the opening day of the Ribbons of Hope Foundation’s spring craft fair in Sayre.

The event, held at the Sayre VFW, is the first time the foundation has held a craft fair in the spring, although it has held craft fairs near Christmas time for five years now, according to Ribbons of Hope Foundation President Deborah Bonn-Brown.

The opening day of the event was a bit slow, Bonn-Brown said, as many of the vendors could not come until today because of work commitments. The three-day event is aimed at raising money for many non-profit organizations, she said, such as the Bradford County Humane Society, the Sayre VFW, SERVE Inc., Boy Scouts and scholarship programs, as well as some national-level organizations, such as the Big Cat Rescue in Florida, she said. The event is all about trying to supplement the incomes of non-profits, she said, and “people coming together to help organizations in the community.”

The Ribbons of Hope Foundation was started in 1998 with a celebrity auction held in support of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, she said, and later turned into its own non-profit entity to help raise needed funds for worthy causes.

The foundation helps support many local non-profit organizations, she said, and has focused more and more on scholarships for Sayre graduates in recent years. The foundation currently awards four scholarships at Sayre High School, and has recently started awarding two scholarships to junior high students at Epiphany, and is working to establish scholarships at North Rome Christian School, Bonn-Brown said.

Carmen Arey, business manager for the Bradford County Humane Society, was at the event to help promote June as Pennsylvania Animal Shelter Appreciation Month, and to educate people about pets and adoptions. A list of animals ready for adoption was available at the event, she said.

As the summer months approach, the humane society needs more volunteers, Arey said, to help with events like craft fairs, and also to walk dogs and socialize cats in the shelter’s cat room, she said. For more information on the BCHS, visit its Web site at, or call Arey at (570) 888-2114 to volunteer. New volunteer orientations are held each month at the shelter, she said.

The BCHS will be at the craft fair today, but not Sunday, due to a lack of available volunteers.

An antique car show will be held at the event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday, Bonn-Brown said, with a trophy awarded to the best car of the show on Sunday. There is no registration fee, and anyone wishing to bring a car in can do so, she said. A chicken barbecue will be held both days, with proceeds from today’s barbecue benefiting the Sayre Wrestling Booster Club, and Sunday’s benefiting Boy Scout Troop 19, she said.

“I paint whatever I can find,” said Fayne Passmore, an artist from Centreville who was at the craft fair with some of her artwork, including oil paintings and hand-painted stemware. Passmore said that painting was “a good stress reliever” for her, and that she had been painting for around five years, after wanting to paint for a long time. Passmore will be at the craft fair today and Sunday, she said.

Vendor Sylvia Ellis was also at the craft fair on Friday with some goat-milk soap from her own Hawk Hill Farm in Standing Stone Township. Ellis said she and her husband have been farming goats since 2001. She molds the soaps in different shapes, she said, and adds a selection of different scents and herbs from her garden to her soaps. Soapmaking is something she enjoys doing, she said, describing it as a hobby that has grown into a part-time business venture.

It was her first time at a Ribbons of Hope craft fair as a vendor, she said, adding that she had visited the Christmas craft fair several times. The Ribbons of Hope Foundation is a wonderful organization for the community, she said, adding she enjoyed going to craft fairs that benefit the community. Especially important to Ellis were the efforts of the foundation to provide scholarships to local students, she said.

The craft fair continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Bonn-Brown said, at the Sayre VFW in Sayre.

Brian Bishop can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or e-mail:

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