Annual craft fair supports arts department

Proceeds will go toward paying for equipment, trips



Booster club president Stephanie Lathrop, left, and event coordinator Con Schafman discuss the Craft Fair’s popularity and the impact it will have for the students on Saturday at Clarkston High School.

CAROLYNN CLAREY, Evergreen reporter and photojournalist

The Clarkston High School music programs have banded together to create a widespread craft fair that covers every inch of their school.

Con Schafman has been the Craft Fair event coordinator for the last two years. In total, she has volunteered at the fair for the past five years. Schafman got involved with the event through the CHS booster club because her children are in the band.

Proceeds from the event go to making sure the kids don’t have to worry about paying for uniforms, equipment, school events and trips, Schafman said. Some of the events that are partially funded by the craft fair are the band competitions and the CHS band camp over the summer.
Students, primarily from the band, are the main volunteers for this event, booster club president Stephanie Lathrop said. They help vendors bring in the equipment and set up booths at 5:30 a.m. and then help tear down at 5:30 p.m. Lathrop said the students volunteer so that they can help their program in the long run.

“This benefits their season,” Schafman said. “It behooves them to invest in it. This is their treasure.”

Not only did the students have the Craft Fair to work on, but also a concert last week. These students are very busy and them showing up to help shows how much they care, Schafman said.

The CHS music program has been hosting the fair for 29 years, and many of its vendors have been with them since the inception of the event. One such group of vendors is headed by Carol Fuhrman and Carol Ulrey. Ulrey started the booth around the same time the fair started, Fuhrman said.

From stocking stuffers and candy to handmade cards and crafts, the two women get together to create each individual item, down to the package it’s in, all by hand. The women start production for next year’s event immediately after the fair.

“We sell about 50 percent of what we make every year and this is the only sale that we do,” Fuhrman said.

In total, the CHS Craft Fair had 161 vendors and an estimated 2,000 attendees this year, Schafman said. The fair uses every bit of free space as it occupies every hall and gym that the school has to offer. The event has a very limited amount of vendors they can take every year so many vendors are left on a waitlist.

“People have already started calling as of [Friday] to reserve their spot,” Schafman said. “There is a high demand for this event for both shoppers and vendors.”

Event attendee, Jennifer Knudsen had previously participated in the fair in past years for inspiration on her own crafts and treats.

“We haven’t been for a few years but we decided to come back to see how it’s changed,” Knudsen said.

Planning an event like this is a year-round process, Lathrop said. Schafman might even start planning and organizing next year’s fair as early as Sunday, she said.

To find out more information, people can search for the CHS Craft Fair on Facebook under the Clarkston High School event page. The event is always held mid-November because of the upcoming holiday season.