GENESEO — It’s the 24th year for the Winterfest at St. Malachy’s Church in Geneseo, an event that involves almost all of the parishioners and students at St. Malachy’s School.
Since its beginning, the event has gone from one to two days. This year it again is a one-day event beginning at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 16 at St. Malachy’s Church, 595 E. Ogden Ave., Geneseo.
Event chairman Shannon Carroll calls it a “labor of love.” The 100-plus volunteers take pleasure in their tasks, she said, just as scripture states in Ecclesiastes 3:14 — “Also that it is God’s gift to man that every one should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil.”
“It is a time of great fellowship, food, crafts, raffle prizes and more,” Carroll said.
Open to the public, Winterfest features a craft show, direct sale vendors, raffle drawings, café, lunch, bake shoppe and a trivia night. There also will be a “children’s room,” with games, prizes and treats for kids.
The Bake Shoppe opens at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and cinnamon rolls. Candies, pies, breads, cakes and preserves will be sold 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Bidding on silent auction items will available 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with raffle tickets sold throughout the day.
A craft fair featuring local artisans and direct sale vendors is planned 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in St. Malachy’s School. A lunch menu, available 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., will include soup, sandwiches and desserts.
Raffle items include a handmade quilt, a FitBit Charge 3, a 32-GB Apple iPad Wi-Fi, a $100 Heaven Sent Scrip gift certificate and cash prizes of $500, $300 and $200.
Trivia Night returns this year, with doors opening at 6 p.m., questions at 7 and the raffle prize drawing at 8 p.m. at the Trivia Night. Popcorn, water and pop will be available; alcoholic beverages are not allowed.
Tables for eight people are available at $100 each; contact Jennifer Higgins at 309-714-2810 or at firstname.lastname@example.org; Jon McAvoy at 309-714-1300 or email@example.com; or the church at 309-944-5393 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winterfest proceeds support St. Malachy’s Church capital improvements, parish faith formation initiatives and the school endowment fund.
“Winterfest is a community event uniting members of St. Malachy’s Church and the Geneseo community in sharing their time, talent and treasures,” Carroll Wolak said.
The Rev. Michael Pakula, pastor at St. Malachy’s, said the annual event "is a great experience for people to work together to build community and support the parish.”
Over the past 24 years, Winterfest has grown from a tiny church bake sale to a community event. Money raised is used throughout the year at both the church and school. Church members begin preparing for the winter activity in the previous fall when volunteers gather to begin planning.