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Holiday Craft Fair 2005

By Colleen Chandler
January 2006

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It was the second year at the fair for Sharon Sloane, whose husband, Dick, promotes environmental responsibility as a resource recovery specialist at NIEHS. Sharon describes herself as a "hobbyist" who brings her wares, including beadwork and needlework, to the annual craft market. (Photo by Dick Sloane)

The annual craft fair features home-baked and hand-crafted goodies. It spans the mall areas of the C, D, E and F buildings. The number of vendors has more than doubled since the first craft fair in 1992.  2003 file
The annual craft fair features home-baked and hand-crafted goodies. It spans the mall areas of the C, D, E and F buildings. The number of vendors has more than doubled since the first craft fair in 1992. 2003 file (Photo by Colleen Chandler)

Vendors lined the mall areas from the C building through the F building for the NIEHS Holiday Craft Fair on Dec. 8. The fair, and annual event, started in 1992 as a creative project initiated by the local chapter of the Federal Women's Program.

Sarah O'Donnell, who organizes the event each year, credits then-chapter president Brenda Deck with doing all the work to establish the craft fair. O'Donnell has been organizing the event since 2001, assigning space and ensuring vendors have the needed tables, chairs and bulletin board space for displays. "Since the Craft Fair is such a great concept and providessome type of morale for the institute, I volunteered to keep it going," O'Donnell said.

Sharon Sloane has done needlework for more than 40 years. Her beadwork includes bracelets, earrings, necklaces and watches of glass, seed beads and Australian crystal. She also offers needlework, with small framed pieces, and sometimes pillows. The indoor market, she said, is a good place to see how well different kinds of merchandise are received.

Initially, the craft fair began with about 25 vendors, but has more than doubled that number. It is held during the holiday season each year, and many vendors offer holiday fare. O'Donnell said the number of employees participating is increasing. Vendors keep the proceeds of their sales while offering employees a chance to get some of their holiday shopping done on their lunch breaks. The fair runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to accommodate variable lunch breaks.



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