By JUDY SHERARD
The Peddlers' Fair at First United Methodist Church is one day, but volunteers such as Diane Wolfe work all year to make it a success.
The first Peddlers' Fair was in 1972, and Virginia Kraus is responsible for the peddler artwork that illustrates the annual fundraiser.
Wolfe first got involved 12 years ago, after she and her husband, Rick, moved to Hays from Denver where their four children, nine grandchildren and Diane Wolfe's mother still live.
In the past, she worked. But after moving to Hays, Mittie Thompson and Florence Fellers "were the most influential women who got me involved in the church," Diane Wolfe said.
Wolfe took over the craft group from Thompson in 2007. The group had met at Thompson's home, but under Wolfe's leadership they meet at the church monthly.
Wolfe comes up with the craft ideas and has a project on each of the four round tables for the members to complete.
"Some are old ideas that keep selling. Others are ideas we get from other people," she said.
Still others come from the Internet.
The projects have changed through the years. Tole painting used to be popular.
"Now there's none of that around. And there used to be a lot more big felt projects, and we don't work on that a lot."
Small, inexpensive items such as candy bars fashioned into snowmen, Santas and reindeer are popular with teachers who attend.
"We sell them for less, so they can buy them for their whole classroom," Wolfe said.
The money raised goes to support church projects such as the sanctuary carpet, the elevator fund and a new north entrance. Some also goes to church missions throughout the world.
"I think it's important for us to support groups like that and get involved. Just to volunteer is a good thing," she said.
Besides leading the craft group, Wolfe makes some of the wreaths and larger projects and donates them to the fair.
"It's very rewarding, and there's so many wonderful things that come out of it," Wolfe said.
However, she's quick to share the credit.
"I'm not the only one," she said. "There are dozens of women that make up this Peddlers' Fair, and it wouldn't be successful without all of us working together."