Support a Great Cause While Christmas ShoppingThe congregation and leaders at Forest Park Presbyterian Church in New Berlin (website) invite you to attend Gathering For A Cause, an event to raise awareness and support for the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation (website). On the program are a variety of artists, crafters and vendors. The date of the event is Saturday, October 3, from 9:00AM until 3:00PM. The event will take place on the church grounds.
My contact for the event, Sheryl Dolan, explained that Gathering For A Cause, offered twice per year, has evolved to where people look forward to participating. Forest Park leadership is pleased by the relationships that have formed between the congregation, beneficiaries, vendors and visitors. The event is successful in that it presents a safe community for meeting and gathering, as demonstrated by the bonds formed between church leadership and the vendors at the gathering.
I asked Sheryl a few questions about the October event. Her answers follow:
What was the process for selecting the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation as the beneficiary of Gathering For A Cause?
Historically, recommendations have come from our congregation, vendors, and Mission Committee members who make the final determination on who is the beneficiary.
For this sale I suggested the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation (BRPF) for a couple reasons. I first became aware of Bryon through a dear friend of mine who is actually his cousin. Bryon and his family’s story of faith, hope and determination are incredibly inspiring. While our “Gatherings” are held to raise financial support we cannot neglect another aspect – hope. Hope is sometimes all that anyone has left when the impossible is looming before them. I witness struggles every day from my experience working at Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Institute. (Sacred Heart provides inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services to those suffering from coma, brain injury, stroke, neurospinal and neurological disorders). The needs are many once patients are discharged from rehab. The BRPF provides options by working within the paralysis community. They provide charitable grants to ease daily life for people suffering from paralysis and scholarships to individuals suffering from paralysis or families with a parent dealing with a neurological disorder. The BRPF also helps with research to find a cure.
What words would you use to describe the volunteers who make this event possible?
What first comes to mind is compassionate, dedicated, motivating, energetic, faithful, and resourceful (weather has at times had us go to Plan B and C mode). These words include our vendors and musicians – they are the heart and soul of these sales.
Do you consider Gathering For A Cause a mission for your church?
Yes, it is one of several missions we take part of. It should be noted, however, for the “Gatherings” we are just the host. Our vendors and visitors bring this mission to life!
We have been contacted by a couple organizations in need of our help. This has provided us the opportunity to learn of their needs and diversify our support.
The holidays are coming soon. What sort of gifts can I buy at this event for those on my shopping list?
To date we will have hand-sewn and crocheted items, jewelry, handcrafted cards and other creative crafts. Pat Lyons from Building Cambodia (a past beneficiary) will be selling items from Cambodia and hand-crafted children-of-the-world creations to support their organization. The VFW Post 8343 will be there with “Deuce” and raise funding for activities for our Veterans. The Donna Lexa Community Arts Center will have their student artwork to view and purchase to benefit both the individual artist and their organization. Vendors from Mary Kay, Origami Owl, Tupperware, Perfectly Posh, Scentsy, Thirty-One will also be there. The church website is updated as vendors confirm – so please stay tuned.
Forest Park invites you to join us on Sunday, August 30, at 9:30A.M., for our first Gathering Sunday. Gathering Sunday was developed to unite all “Gathering for a Cause” participants and interested parties prior to an upcoming sale. During the worship service (in place of the sermon) Bryon Riesch will be speaking about his Foundation. Having the forthcoming benefactor speak to us provides an opportunity to broaden our understanding about the organization with whom we are supporting. We will follow the service with a reception to honor all our vendors whose support makes these “Gatherings” possible! Anyone interested in discovering more information and make new connections are invited to attend.
Thanks, Sheryl! All the best to the Gathering For A Cause Community.
Submitted by Donna Holmes