St. Julie’s Ladies Guild looks ‘to foster community spirit’ with first craft fair

Nov 13, 2023

In its first outing, the Ladies Guild of St. Julie Billiart Church’s craft fair brought together hundreds of community members to shop at tables of 30 local vendors, who peddled everything from pepper jam to holiday ornaments to homemade wreaths and honey made by Dartmouth bees. 

The vendors gathered in Bishop Stang’s gymnasium for the fair, which ran during the morning and afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 11. 

“They’re all different, there’s nothing that’s the same here,” said Anne Cabral, fundraising chair for the Ladies Guild. 

Each vendor also donated an item to the fair’s raffle, which attendees could then purchase tickets for a chance to win. Members of the Ladies Guild also donated some items. 

The fair raised money for the guild, which supports scholarships for student members of the church, and donations to community groups, such as Gifts to Give in Acushnet. 

Lynn Medeiros, who sold her and her daughter’s “Creations by MJ” at the fair, said she received one of St. Julie’s scholarships when she was a young student in Dartmouth “many moons ago.”

Lynn and her daughter Megan, who sold a variety of Christmas gifts, attend other craft fairs in the area, such as the recurring Fairhaven High School fair, but Lynn said she enjoyed coming out to a craft fair in Dartmouth. 

“I’ve lived in town all my life, so I’ve seen a lot of town people here, so it’s really nice,” Medeiros said. 

That kind of community experience is the goal for the ladies guild, even more than fundraising. 

“Our goal is also to foster community spirit and offer events that the community can enjoy,” said Gloria Bancroft, communications chair for the guild. “What better event than a craft fair, where talented people can exhibit their wares and the community can enjoy it.”

The fair showed off not just talent, but expertise. Tim Cummings, from Lakewood Honey Bees in Dartmouth, is a “Certified Master Beekeeper,” and shared not just his honey, but information about honey bee biology and behavior. 

Cummings came to the fair because he thought it would “be a good place to meet some people” and advertise his business. He hopes that the Ladies Guild continues with the event in the future. 

“I think it's a worthwhile cause and I think they should continue,” Cummings said. “I know the Ladies Guild is really active in different activities.”

Cabral said the Guild may return next year, and would consider making the fair an annual event. That would require all the fair’s volunteers to come back, including the students from St. Julie Billiart’s Faith Formation group, who helped set up. 

“If it wasn’t for everyone that pitched in to help, this wouldn’t have happened,” Cabral said.