St. Joseph Bazaar moves into second century

Carol Rolf Originally Published July 28, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated July 26, 2013 at 2:22 p.m.
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Nick Hillemann

Artist Steve Griffith and Marci Martin, St. Joseph School bazaar auction coordinator, show off prizes that have been donated for the bazaar.

CONWAY — Credit cards, the Internet and Facebook are all signs of the times. Mix these modern marvels with tradition, and one may get a sense of the annual St. Joseph Bazaar.

Set for Thursday, Friday and Saturday on the grounds of St. Joseph School and Church in Conway, the bazaar embarks on its second century of providing fun, food and fellowship to the community. But most importantly, the event provides money for the school, which serves approximately 450 students in kindergarten through the 12th grade.

“Although we have a lot of the same traditions, the bazaar has certainly moved into a second century with social media, accepting credit cards and the auction event,” said Nicole Rappold, development director for St. Joseph School. “What traditionally started as the bazaar is now housed year-round in our flea market, so the weekend event has grown and evolved into a celebration of tradition in today’s times.

“Yes, credit cards will be accepted. Actually, they are accepted for several different bazaar purchases, including raffle tickets on the car (a Dodge Charger) and auction admission tickets.”

Rappold said the midway has been brought back this year as a two-night event.

“We had it for two nights last year when we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the bazaar,” she said. “We decided to keep it as a two-night event again this year.”

The midway will open at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday on the church grounds. New to the midway this year will be a Plinko-type game.

The flea market will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The flea market will be in a separate building on College Avenue, across the railroad tracks and next to the gymnasium.

Friday’s events will include a boxed lunch, which will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a spaghetti supper, which will be served from 5-8 p.m., both in the Parish Hall, 1118 College Ave. Takeout meals will be available by calling (501) 329-3865.

The cost for the boxed lunch, which includes homemade spaghetti, is $8. The cost for the spaghetti dinner, which includes all-you-can eat homemade spaghetti, fried chicken, sausage, sauerkraut, green beans, coleslaw, salad, rolls, dessert and drinks, is $11 for adults and $6 for children.

Saturday’s activities will include silent and live auctions, and raffles for several prizes. Billed this year as a Wild, Wild Auction … Highest Bidder Wanted, the auction will include heavy hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages; only adults 21 and older will be admitted. Admission tickets are $30 per person in advance or $35 at the door.

The silent auction will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, and the live auction will begin at 8:45 p.m. A wide variety of items will be up for bids.

Marci Martin, auction committee chairman, said the event will be more casual this year.

“Come dressed in your jeans and cowboy boots,” she said. “We will have more seating, including hay bales.”

As is tradition, a vehicle will be the big-ticket raffle item. This year’s model is a 2013 red Dodge Challenger. Second prize in the raffle will be a 50-inch TV, with a rifle for the third prize. Tickets for this raffle are $2 each, six for $10, 18 for $20 and $100 for $100.

Martin said items would also be offered on Raffle Alley and Raffle Row. She said bidding on these items gives patrons a chance to win some nice prizes without bidding in the live auction.

Raffle Alley items include:

• “The Ultimate Deer Stand.” Only 100 tickets will be sold for $50 each. “The last name drawn will win,” Martin said of the reverse drawing.

• Bulldog Tuition. First-place winner, $2,500 St. Joseph tuition credit; second place, $250 St. Joseph book bill credit; and third place, “Beats” Headphones by Dr. Dre. Tickets for these prizes are $20 each or three for $50.

Raffle Row items include $500, a Strain Photography gift certificate, a sterling silver slide bracelet by Brooks Fine Jewelry, an original Steve Griffith painting and an ice chest filled with beverages. Tickets are $2 each, six for $10, 18 for $20, and 100 for $100. Tickets can be purchased and dropped in one box or spread out among the prizes.

Admission and raffle tickets may be purchased at the St. Joseph Parish office, 1115 College Ave, (501) 327-6568; the St. Joseph Endowment office, 1315 College Ave., (501) 329-1818; at all Model Cleaners in Conway; or by contacting Martin at (701) 733-9187 or Sheila Beck at (501) 977-4077. Tickets are also available at various businesses in Conway; look for signs.

Rappold said all proceeds from the auction, including the flea market that is open all year, will go to the school.

“The flea market alone provided $200,000 for the school last year,” Rappold said. “We are really proud of the flea market and what it’s become.”

Just as the bazaar is keeping up with the times,

Rappold said, the school is doing the same thing by incorporating new things.

Among the new programs implemented this past school year are a beginning band for fourth- through 12th-graders; Google Apps for Education that utilizes Chromebooks and iPads for students’ word processing needs in the classroom; and project-based learning, which features hands-on student projects that have real-world impact.

Rappold said the school promotes BYOD — Bring Your Own Device.

“Before, students would have to check in their iPhones, iPods, iPads at the front desk,” she said. “Students could not use these devices during the school day. But now, we want them to bring their devices in for learning in the classroom.”

She did note that some restrictions are implemented in the BYOD program.

Rappold said some of the technology advancements have been made possible through the HOOKS (Help Out Our Kids’ School) fundraising efforts, the St. Joseph Endowment Fund and the Nabholz Foundation.

Another positive change for the future at St. Joseph School is the relocation of its after-school program. Formerly housed in the old schoolhouse on the middle school campus, the program will be moved in August to the former site of the Faulkner County Boys and Girls Club on Deere Street and renamed the St. Joseph After School Program-Bob Nabholz Youth Center.

Rappold said the youth center will be “an asset to the whole St. Joseph community.” It may be used for youth events and other church and school functions.

“The public is invited to a blessing, ribbon cutting and open house from 4-7 p.m. Aug. 11 to meet the staff, tour the new location, and enjoy cookies and punch.”

More information on the St. Joseph Bazaar can be found at or on Facebook at

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