Lee's Summit Journal

Shop for a cause at Holly Festival Craft Fair in Lee’s Summit

Katoga bracelet; hand-strung and painted, from project Lydia.
Katoga bracelet; hand-strung and painted, from project Lydia. Courtesy photo

In just two days, imagine putting a big dent in your holiday shopping, and finishing the weekend’s spending spree feeling good about helping the community.

The 26th annual Holly Festival Craft Fair draws a big crowd each year. Rachel Segobia, director at Lee’s Summit CARES, estimates around 2,000 to 3,000 people each year visit more than 100 booths displaying merchandise and food.

A silent auction, a visit from Santa and the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Health Fair help round out the fun, Segobia said.

“It’s a nice opportunity to bring people together and support local businesses and crafters while benefiting great organizations,” said Segobia, whose organization benefits from the fair, along with the D.A.R.E program.

Intricate, hand-made items such as recycled-paper bead necklaces, braceletes, baskets, handbags and a variety of bath and beauty products from Project Lydia are among the items available. One $40 purchase feeds a Ugandan family of four for a month, said Cindy Oswald, project manager for the organization.

“We’ve been able to do remarkable things with the funds from these projects,” Oswald said. “We’ve built three schools in Uganda in five years, thanks to people who support us.”

Oswald and her sister Julie Pash operate Project Lydia, an expansion of Advancing the Kingdom Ministries, which has served Uganda since 2009. Project Lydia teaches Ugandan women crafting skills to support their families and overcome adversity, Oswald said.

For more information about the craft fair, visit lscares.org. To learn more about Project Lydia’s service in Uganda, visit projectlydia.org.

The 26th annual Holly Festival Craft Fair is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 9, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, November 10 at Bernard Campbell Middle School, 1201 NE Colbern Road in Lee’s Summit. The fair benefits D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), and Lee’s Summit CARES. Admission is free for all ages.