Wesley Fair supports young people leaving foster care
By 8 am, the sun was shining and the bacon and eggs were sizzling on the BBQ outside the Wesley Centre in Sydney’s CBD, signalling to passers-by that it was once again that time of the year-Wesley Fair day.
Thursday 3 November marked the 103rd Wesley Fair and the event raised $22,700 for our recently launched program, Wesley Take Charge of Your Life, which provides young people leaving foster care the support and guidance they need to successfully transition into their independent lives.
Rev Myung Hwa Park, Moderator NSW Synod of the Uniting Church Australia, officially opened the doors at 9:30 am to a flood of patrons eager to enjoy the wonderful range of homemade treats, arts and crafts, new and second hand clothes, jewellery and homewares that the Wesley Fair is renowned for. Outside, fresh flower bouquets and plants, fluffy pink fairy floss, buttery popcorn and the spectacle of a high-jumping stilt walker welcomed everyone-from office workers, tourists and shoppers, to the many Wesley Mission supporters who travelled to the city specifically for the fair.
The traditional French crepes prepared by Wesley Taylor Narrabeen centre manager, Olivier Valente, pleased the crowds again this year and the fashion hall, a Wesley Fair mainstay, raised more funds than any other stall. Fashionistas from far and wide came for the bargains as well as the help and advice of the ‘Westpac ladies’, who volunteer their time each year and are becoming known for their wonderful styling tips.
Another major fundraiser was the auction, with the CEO of Wesley Mission, the Rev Keith Garner, reprising his role of auction master and raising a significant $1,660.
The Wesley Fair is an annual event that was first held 103 years ago by the Ladies’ Auxiliary Committee of the then Central Methodist Mission, and it has always been run almost entirely by volunteers. It truly is the work of the Wesley Mission family. This year was no exception, with individuals and corporate partners donating goods and their time to make the fair a success. We received fantastic corporate support this year, with staff volunteers from Westpac, St George and Suncorp all going above and beyond the call of duty-from making popcorn and spinning fairy floss, to sticking around for the not so fun post-fair pack up.
Through the tireless effort of those who give up their time and talents to bring this event to life each year, Wesley Fair continues a great 100-year-old tradition and holds its special place in the life of Wesley Mission today.