© Nathan Liewicki
Chloe Bjelde collects a pastry for a customer at Vanier Collegiate's Craft and Bake Sale on Saturday. The one-day event was organized to support the school's Travel Club, which is headed to Italy in July 2014.
Josh Groban’s soothing voice filled the main rotunda at Vanier Collegiate.
As music from the Grammy Award winner’s Christmas Album Noël played for all to hear, visitors at Saturday’s craft and bake sale strolled from vendor to vendor.
The event, co-organized by Jacki L’Heureux and Monette Carter, was put on as a way to support about a dozen Vanier students who are headed to Italy in July 2014, as part of the Travel Club.
“Most of the kids are paying half or all of their way to go to Italy,” said L’Heureux. “It’s a way to subsidize some of the costs associated with the trip.”
L’Heureux told the Times-Herald that the initial goal for the one-day sale was to have 35 vendors showcase an array of items. However, it turned out that organizers were able to afford 53 vendors to show off their best crafts and baked goods.
Each of the vendors paid a $35 vendor fee and donated something to the many raffle prizes that were drawn for later in the day.
In total, L’Heureux said the goal was to raise about $1,500.
“The response from vendors was huge,” said L’Heureux. “We thought 50 would be a tremendous number, but we snuck in three more.”
One of the vendors was headed by L’Heureux’s daughter, 14-year-old Emma, and her fellow Italian-bound friend Chelsea Little.
They were selling baked goods, which included chocolate chip muffins mixed with brownies, fudge puddles and pizza-shaped cookies at $3 per plate.
Next July will mark the first time either of the girls will have visited Europe and both have different Italian stops they are most looking forward to.
“I can’t wait for Milan because of all the shopping,” said Little.
“I’m most looking forward to Pisa,” said Emma.
The girls said the cost of the trip is roughly $4,000, plus spending money.
“It’s a good way we can work toward earning money to help cover our spending money,” Little said of the sale.
Sisters Sharayah and Chloe Bjelde also set up shop as vendors on Saturday.
A Grade 10 student at Vanier, Sharayah isn’t going to Italy, but she and her younger sister were selling shortbread cookies, tarts and other holiday goodies.
They said it took them all of Friday to make their spread of tasty treats.
“We’re hoping to make enough money to buy Christmas presents,” said Sharayah.
In addition to a plethora of baked goods, candles, spices, jewelry, beauty products, Christmas wreaths and holiday gift baskets were among the items available for purchase.
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks