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Biennial event in Toronto suburb raises $120,000 in one day

Netherlands Bazaar sets new record

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THORNHILL, Ontario - Few fundraising events in Dutch communities across North America pull as many people together as does the biennial Nether-lands Bazaar in this suburb north of Toronto. The event which has the look of a jampacked small town market with numerous well-stocked stalls, food outlets and plenty of opportunities for participating in a prize game, again topped the previous one in net proceeds collected for the benefit of Dutch-Canadian needy in the province. The one-day Bazaar brought in a record $120,000.

The October event is a climax of sorts for the numerous volunteers of the Bazaar who for nearly two years work to make the one-day happening a success. Although many businesses make their merchandise donations in the weeks leading up to the Bazaar, a number of dedicated individuals work over an entire interval quilting, knitting, sowing or sawing their crafts and drop these off at various points in the weeks leading up to the October date. Other donations are warehoused for (much) longer periods.

The pre-event activities are most noticable, the activities which are funded by the proceeds by common agreement are taking place with much discretion. The group, headed by long-time volunteer Gé Spaans, distributed food hampers to 900 families in severe financial straits and paid for 300 disadvantaged children to attend a summer camp, away from their stressful life at home.

An enthusiastic Spaans views it as a privelege to help those in need and has nothing but praise for the generosity of the community that makes it happen, again and again setting new records in funds raised, each time. The community effort according to Spaans, is a message to the needy that they are not left to themselves.

The Committee “Netherlands Bazaar” invites readers to submit the names of those who meet the criteria for help. For each potential recipient a questionnaire must be completed and signed by the contact person so that the committee can better assess the needs. The group can be reached c/o Mrs. G. Spaans, 15 Pavillion Street, Unionville, ON, L3R 1N8 or by phone 905-477-1243; or Lia de Groot at 905-878-1040; Bets Speelman at 416-742-1172.