A women’s church committee called “Raise The Rafters” (RTR) out of small-town Wawota is getting creative with a safe COVID-19 fundraising idea for the community’s united church. The group pre-sold almost 200 homemade pies that were made fresh for the scheduled pick-up event held on Saturday Sept. 26.
Each pie was sold for $10 so the proceeds reached almost $2,000. The funds will go towards general account and special projects at the church.
“The sales far exceeded what we thought we could achieve,” said Linda Birnie, RTR member. “It makes me very happy because the church holds an important place in the community.”
The funds collected over the weekend were not simply ice cream on the pie for the church’s account. Fundraising right now is vital because of the pandemic and will be crucial for future survival.
“Our in-person worship services only just began again on Sunday of the Labour Day weekend after six long months,” said Roy Bortolotto, minister for the Crossroads Pastoral Charge in Wawota.
“The church income is very low, despite that we had an online Zoom option. Many of our attendees did not have access to the technology or know how to use it.”
In autumn, RTR normally holds soup and sandwich fundraisers and an annual fall buffet supper which caters close to 300 people.
Despite the unfortunate cancellations, the delicious pies are catering to everyone’s sweet tooth during the pandemic.th
At the fundraiser, RTR offered both two-crust pies and specialty pies with a total of eight different flavours. The two-crust flavours were cherry, Saskatoon berry, strawberry-rhubarb, apple and peach. The specialty pies were pumpkin, sour-cream raisin and lemon meringue. The pumpkin pie was a popular sell with Thanksgiving right around the corner.
“The pie fillings are handpicked from gardens, trees and bushes near the community,” said Birnie. “The pie crusts are all homemade and we add a buttery coating to the pastry which our customers love.”
RTR is actually not new to pie making. The committee’s pie making abilities essentially built the new united church in 2015. In times of uncertainty, RTR is focusing on what they do best for aid. RTR has built a great reputation of delicious tasting pies in the community and surrounding area. They sold their pies regularly in the summer months at the Red Barn Flea Market near Moose Mountain Provincial Park.
The difference this fall is RTR has put a pre-order and pick-up system in place to keep everyone safe. RTR also offered a delivery service for more at-risk individuals. During the pie-making process the committee was diligent with cleaning procedures and the women organized themselves in an assembly line fashion where everyone was given a separate task.
“With the threat of a possible second wave, we need to plan ahead,” said Bortolotto. This is a solution right now that works since it does not require a large number of people congregating in one place.”