VFW hosts socially distanced craft fair and bake sale

Nov 28, 2020

Veterans Day has come and gone, but for the The Dartmouth VFW Post 9059 Auxiliary, the mission to honor those who served continues.

On Nov. 28, the Auxiliary held a craft fair and bake sale to help raise funds for various veterans programs on the South Coast like gifts for vets in hospitals, food banks, and other support groups and families in need.

“It’s a lovely day for this,” Auxiliary President Terry Caton said. “Everything is nice and open to avoid getting crowded.” 

In and around the VFW on Cross Road, vendors sold jewelry, Christmas decor, and baked goods such as pie and cranberry cake from socially distanced booths as masked patrons browsed and made their purchases and connected with friends.

“I didn’t know I was even going to come because of all the Covid stuff,” Dan Souza said, who had a table of Christmas decorations outside the building. “I’m glad I did, it’s nice to meet and greet people, even if it’s from a slight distance.” 

One of the most popular crafts was the most relevant to 2020: custom made masks.

According to New Bedford resident Ana Fonseca, her sister Vivina Almeida has made hundreds of masks with sports logos and festive designs since May. At the craft fair, Fonseca said that people were “buying them by the handfuls.”

“I also work at a nursing facility, so I know how important having enough of these is — plus I just love to craft,” Almeida said. “If it can save a life or two, it’s all worth it.” 

Like many businesses and organizations, the VFW post was hit hard from pandemic related shutdowns and regulations.

“It’s been hard for the men — the bar is what keeps this palace going,” Caton said, adding that hours had to be reduced since most veterans weren’t too comfortable with coming out early in the day. “We rent that hall too, but that’s another thing that’s been gone this year.” 

To help keep things afloat, the auxiliary president noted that the post “certainly had to be more creative this year” with how they could raise funds since the usual dinners had to be canceled.

Along with the craft fair/bake sale, the VFW also had a yard sale and a “rock-a-thon” where auxiliary members kept rocking chairs moving for a whole day.

“That was a very productive event, but we were pretty tired,” Caton laughed. “We had two chairs and one had to constantly keep rocking — so if someone went to the bathroom the other person would rock their chair and the other.” 

Moving forward, Caton said she just hopes that the VFW post can be opened at full capacity again.

“It will be nice to have people back without masks,” she said.