The Good Shepherd Catholic Church International Festival is facing a few changes in its 37th year.
Due to the ongoing church renovations, the festival’s biggest fundraiser, the White Elephant, has been cancelled this year. The International Festival committee has had to brainstorm ways to recoup revenue lost from the fundraiser, International Festival coordinator Lou Volchansky said.
Volchansky told Patch that the White Elephant will return next year. In the meantime, the committee has decided to put on a 5K run and 1K family walk on Sept. 1, two days before the festival.
“No matter what shape you’re in, you can run as well as help,” Volchansky said.
Last year’s Artisan Row proved so popular, it expanded from four artisans to 16 this year, according to Volchansky. Raffle tickets have also been one of the largest fundraisers. New this year is an online pre-ordering feature where guests can pre-order their raffle tickets and then go to the church, pay for them and pick them up.
Last year’s festival raised $37,000 toward the Shepherd’s Gate grant program, said Social Justice Director Katie Esser. Twelve nonprofits benefitted from the grants, including Our Daily Bread and Catholic Charities’ St. Martin de Porres Senior Center. This year, the church would like to maintain its fundraising goal from last year, despite not having the White Elephant fundraiser.
With so many events and activities going on this year, the International Festival committee is making a huge effort to recruit volunteers. Last year, more than 350 volunteers participated in the International Festival.
“There’s been a big push to get people to volunteer,” Esser said. “The more the merrier. We have something for everyone.”
The Good Shepherd Church International Festival kicks off with the Inaugural Good Shepherd 5K and 1K Family Fun Walk on Sept. 1. The Mass to celebrate the International Festival will be held on Sept. 2 at noon. The International Festival will be held on Labor Day from noon to 6 p.m. at Good Shepherd Catholic Church. For more information, visit the church’s website.