It was a cold, winter evening and Living Ministries Committee member, Linda Haarstad, suggested we have a fun, family-oriented event, complete with Corned-Beef and Cabbage! That night, Living Ministries Vise President, Karen Gidderon suggested we call our event St. Patty’s Day Fling. Later that week StPattysDayFling.com was launched by Living Ministries President, Summer Clemenson and it was official! St. Patty’s Day Fling was born.
Every committee member poured all they had into this event, canvasing the town with sponsorship and event flyers, calling potential benefactors, getting flyers approved by Kelso and Longview School districts…paper cuts where to be had by the team that counted out all the flyers and banned them together one day at ZoJo. Those same flyers had to be delivered to every school in Kelso and Longview. Many of our committee members donated their supplies and cash and many sleepless nights were had by teams of people bursting with ideas; some of which actually panned out!
We were so thankful for sponsors including:
- Living Ministries
- Exclaim Media, LLC
- DIY Party Supplies
- The Pet Works
- Angel Wings Ministry
- JC’s PC Repair
- Amanda Wilson Portraiture
- Valley Bugler Newspaper
- Copies Today Speedy Litho
- The Dog Zone
- Music and More Productions
- Remnant Farms
- Farm Dog Bakery
- Knotty Wares – Yarn and Fiber Art Co-Op
- Caring Pregnancy Center of Cowlitz County
- The Electric Bean
- ZoJo Coffee
- Allied Hearing Aid Specialists
- Dino Doozer Foundation
- Bean’s Towing
Through every success and hic-up our team grew stronger and understood our path better. In the beginning St. Patty’s Day Fling was meant to be a fundraiser, but in the end we were glad to have an event to bring the community together; to actually live out our mission statement: Unifying the Community to Administer Hope.
Living Ministries is a team that currently consists of 9 people who love the community and want to engage with them in ways to encourage trust, compassion and good times! We are not a Christian organization but we do live out our lives, as best we can, to be a blessing. Our goal is to stand beside groups that help people whether they are a for-profit, non-profit, church groups or just people that want to fill a need. In the last 3 months we have been able to raise over $3000 for Salvation Army at the Christmas Angel Telethon, volunteer to help feed homeless people with Hearts for Homeless and most of of our committee members regularly volunteer for Love Overwhelming.
All of our committee members also serve in other capacities. When you meet Living Ministries you are also meeting representatives for:
- Angel Wings Ministry Animal Shelter
- Bark for Life
- Celebrate Recovery
- Champs (Longview School District Volunteer)
- Community Home Health & Hospice
- Cowlitz County Search and Rescue
- Events Inc. Car Shows
- Family Challenge Camps
- Go Fourth Festival
- Love INC.
- Love Overwhelming
- Pioneer Lions Club
- Red Cross
- Relay for Life
- Salvation Army
- Seattle Union Gospel Mission Search and Rescue
- Stir It Up Cafe – Ministry of Evangel Christian Fellowship
- Thunder Mountain Rodeo
We had a few surprises but nothing a few food handler’s cards and some borrowed commercial equipment couldn’t handle. We were glad to have the 60 inch TV’s loaned to us by Aaron’s which we used to play X-box Kinnect and Karaoke. We would like to give a special thanks to our security and entertainment crew: committee member, Dale Chamberlain and volunteer, Dale Waddell.
Our Pet Parade was MC’d by Debra Lawson-Bean, fellow committee member and director of Angel Wings Ministry and Doug Kalberg, owner of The Dog Zone. We had all kinds of contests and so many prizes donated by Remnant Farms, Angel Wings Ministry and The Dog Zone that everyone walked away with something special. Big thanks to Committee Member, Jamie Holloway! She registered kids for The Pet Parade, The Cricket Contest and still managed to take lots of great pictures!
Rebecca Smith, owner of The Pet Works led a Pet Cricket Class with her daughter Anna which was a huge success! The crickets the children got to keep were entertainment for the rest of the day. I really hope that all of them were caught! As tables were pulled away from walls, the kids were told if they didn’t take them home we were pretty sure the janitors would not take good care of them.
Our raffle was a tremendous success! With products donated by Knotty Wares, Remnant Farms, Farm Dog Bakery, ZoJo Coffee, The Electric Bean, DIY Party Supplies and Caring Pregnancy Center we were truly blessed by our community!
At the last minute we lost our caterer but the strings were not dropped by committee members: Linda Haarstad, John Hanna, John Coleman and our newest volunteer Ted Grammount. Corned Beef, was slow cooked all day, baked potatoes and steamed cabbage and rolls were served to our guests. Wonderful cookies and chocolate cakes were served for desert and tunes were kept playing by committee member, Tom Stebbins and his right-hand lady, Tara Kubacki.
As the night wore on it was eventually time to enjoy Irish Music! We were excited to hear the group put together by Connie Wallace and included Jim Blair, Farrell Harris and Keith Day, as well as Connie. Fresh faces filled the room just for this part of our event! The best surprise was to be approached by Heather Steely who wanted permission to teach a few dances. She was given freedom to lead away and soon a whole group of people were doing the Virginia Wheel! We had a blast!
We learned a lot from this event and already have a lot of ideas for next year! We can’t wait to have St. Patty’s Day Fling 2013!