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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of Nov 26 - Dec 2, 2003


St. Thomas
hosts alternative
holiday gift fair

Express Staff Writer

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!"

When Dr. Seuss’ Grinch—the one who stole Christmas—spoke these words he struck a chord for fed up and jaded holiday shoppers.

"Out of just this sort of despair the idea for the alternative holiday gift fair was born," said Susan Springer, lay administrator at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Ketchum.

The St. Thomas Alternative Gift Fair is being held on Saturday, Nov. 29, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the upper hallway of the church on Sun Valley Road.

This kind of fair seeks to unite nonprofit organizations that have a track record of helping people and the environment.

"It provides a way for holiday shoppers to give gifts that have meaning and help change the world. It helps draw the community together around common values, and provides an alternative to the commercial consumptive culture. It supports worthy local non-profit organizations," Springer explained.

This concept has previously been promoted by the Center for a New American Dream and has been adopted by churches around the country. It is, however, new to the Wood River Valley. When St. Thomas Episcopal Church learned about the idea a decision was made to organize such a fair for the upcoming holiday season.

Fair-goers can also purchase refreshments and enjoy live music as they shop.

At least 10 local nonprofit organizations will have booths at the fair and will offer the chance for holiday shoppers to make a donation with imagination in the name of someone on their holiday gift list. In return they receive a card of acknowledgment that explains the gift and the organization it benefits.

Not a lot of money is required to make a difference in our valley. For example, for $15 shoppers can purchase a one-month Peak Bus pass for a woman in safe shelter at The Advocates. An hour of counseling for a child costs $40. At the Hospice of the Wood River Valley, $25 will pay for an hour of nursing care to help ease the last days of a person who cannot afford to pay for such care on their own. A Hospice volunteer can receive 20 hours of training for a gift of $50. The Animal Shelter of Wood River Valley offers a warm quilted doggie vest for a shelter dog for $20.

Other participating organizations include Sun Valley Adaptive Sports, The Campfire Foundation, Souper Supper, Blaine County Senior Center, the Environmental Resource Center, Youth Adult Konnection, and the St. Thomas Bookstore. Space is still available for several more nonprofit groups.

For more information, contact Susan Springer at 726-5349, ext. 10.



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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.