Circle of Love provides gift options while raising money for its supplies

By Corey Pride / Cpride@losbanosenterprise.comNovember 23, 2012 

The Circle of Love seniors program held its semiannual fundraisers last week.

The nonprofit quilting, arts and crafts group put on the Circle of Love Soup and Salad Bar Luncheon at the Los Banos Community Center.

The event featured a $5 soup and salad lunch, 30 vendors selling handmade and homemade items, a raffle and plenty of socializing between participants and attendees.

Gloria Mendonca, who heads the Circle of Love program said the money raised will go toward buying material for Circle of Love.

"This is how we make our funding for the year to do our outreach," Mendonca said. "Without this today, we couldn't have a program. We just don't have the money."

Circle of Love has 50 members who crochet various items throughout the year and sell them. The program is a way for senior citizens to come together to do something they enjoy.

Circle of Love member Shirley Hendricks sat behind a table with knitted miniature sombreros for sale. She said even though she wasn't getting many takers last week, she was having a good time.

"This is the first year I've been here. Gloria's always wanted me to be part of it and I said yes," Hendricks said, adding that her knitted baby hats were being sold in the event's raffle.

Stella Vanderveen and her husband, Menno, spent six months making the wooden crosses they sold at the Circle of Love event.

"It's kind of a new thing we started. You might call it our ministry because I've run into so many people who said having a cross just feels right. They love them," Vanderveen said.

Roberta Howard, who attended the event with friends, was thrilled to buy a knitted Santa Claus and three miniature homes made of yarn for $30.

"I think it's very festive, (with) good vendors and nice prices," Howard said.

She said she was looking forward to purchasing some handmade jewelry after lunch.

Pot holders, quilts, homemade necklaces, scented candles, dishware and various trinkets and Christmas items were all part of the event.

Mendoca said she was pleased with the fundraiser.

"Everybody's happy, everybody's glad to be here, even the weather's not stopping them," she said.

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