Fall craft and vendor show will take place at First Baptist Church Aledo

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

A fall craft and vendor show is planned for Saturday, Oct. 18 to benefit the Mercer County Initiative. It will be at the First Baptist Church in Aledo (800 NE 6th Ave.) on their front lawn from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Organizers are looking for crafters of all kinds, and donations to raise money for The Initiative. The cost for a booth space is $25 for a 75x25 ft. spot. There will be plenty of baked goods and tasty treats, as well as Darryl Bodeen's famous pulled pork. Fun for the kids as well with face painting and games. Rusty Boruff will be speaking on behalf of The Initiative at noon that day.

"The Mercer County Initiative is an effort by Mercer County citizens spear headed by The 180 Zone to help with the needs of those in our community," according to Director and Founder Rusty Boruff.

"We do this by service projects such as helping a widow with her yard work or cleaning out her gutters to cleaning up a cemetery that has been abandoned. We also have a food pantry that is designed to build relationships with someone by supplying the physical need of food," anyone is welcome to use the food pantry, however, there is an application to fill out once they arrive. It opened about a year ago. It's open on the 4th Saturday of every month from 9-11 a.m. and currently supports about 20 families. Boruff says, "It started when we found out there were students in our schools that weren’t getting adequate and healthy food when they went home at night. There were kids who didn’t have clothes, shoes, or the proper school supplies and we wanted to come alongside the school and community to help with that. Until there is no kid in our community who is in need, we will continue moving forward and fulfilling as many needs as we can."

The organization is run entirely on volunteerism and donations. "Every dime goes towards the initiative," said organizer/coordinator Cara Svoboda.

The 180 Zone (www.the180zone.org) focuses on 3 things. Prevent. Reach. Develop. Prevent: working with students in at risk communities to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Reach: reach out to those who are in need. Develop: house and assist those who have committed to changing their life. - www.the180zone.org, 563-424-4589, t180z@the180zone.org