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St. Patrick's Ready for Saturday X-Mas Boutique

BEDFORD, N.Y — With Thanksgiving fast approaching, thoughts of autumn, turkey, and football reign supreme in the country. Excluding, of course, St. Patrick’s Parochial School in Bedford.  Starting Wednesday, and going through Friday, the school is transforming into Santa’s workshop thanks to the preparation for the St. Patrick’s Christmas Boutique on Saturday.

Set up by the Parents Association, the decorations covered the walls and ceilings of the halls, giving the effect of an early Christmas extravaganza. The students were gone all of Wednesday thanks to a school-wide trip to New York City, giving the PA time to sneak in the decorations.

Principal Jennifer Ciavirella knows the heart of the preparation process lies in the school’s PA. “This doesn’t happen without their volunteer, time and their talent,” she said. “Not only do you see right out in front of you parents decorating, they do the personal donations as well.”

The boutique is the school’s major fundraiser for the year, bringing in vendors from around the area to sell their goods. Three raffles will occur, including a 50/50 raffle, a Chinese raffle, and the big-ticket raffle. Last year, the school raised nearly $30,000, says Ciavirella.

“This boutique makes it happen, it really jumpstarts the fundraising process,” said PA President Zulma Hayes.

The school’s main funds received through the boutique come from booking the vendors, as the sellers keep the money they make once they set up the table. The three raffles, along with food in the café, are also added to the school's pot. The funds for the school go toward projects like buying new desks or tables, additions to a playground, and more.

But one of the biggest thrills the boutique gives is not one money can buy. Instead, the look on the children’s faces when they return to school and see their school transformed is most endearing.

“As soon as they walk back in, they will say ‘wow!’” said Hayes. “It feels festive, like a true holiday.”

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