Instead, the church is hosting several activities from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4. All activities are open to the public.
Raffle tickets and raffle board numbers may be purchased until 2 p.m. Sunday, when the drawing takes place. Raffle tickets are available from the church’s parishioners and at the parish office and My Little Nest Egg, a new flower shop in Park River.
“This is the only fundraiser St. Mary’s hosts for itself during the year,” said the Rev. Bert Miller, St. Mary’s parish priest.
Activities that were planned to observe the church’s 125th anniversary this year had to be canceled “due to the uncertainty of COVID-19,” Miller said.
But event organizers came up with some innovative ways to infuse some fun into the fundraising initiative. For example, donors may contribute to a “haircut jar.” If donations reach $5,000, Miller will receive a haircut, he said. His last haircut was in mid-January.
If donations don’t reach $5,000, “if it’s one-third, I’ll get a third cut off the side; if it’s two-thirds I’ll get two thirds cut off. If someone smarts off and wants the top cut off, I’ll say, ‘it’ll be another $5,000.’”
“My hair is really long; I’d like to get rid of it,” he said. “It takes a lot of shampoo.”
The haircut is set for 3 p.m. Sunday in the church parking lot, weather-permitting. Miranda Lien, a parishioner who worked as a beautician, is planning to cut his hair, Miller said, “but only the back and sides. There’s not much on top.”
Raffle tickets, $2 each, are being sold for a chance to win up to $1,000 in cash prizes, a $500 gift card, and a queen-size quilt, titled “Fruits of the Holy Spirit.” The quilt is on display inside the church’s front entrance.
Four raffle boards have been circulating around the area, including the Park River American Legion, Wayne’s Variety, the J-Mart store in Pisek and the Spud Bar in Crystal. The boards feature a grid of squares, each with a number.
Donors could buy chances to win prizes, including meat bundles and a “gift card tree” with ten $50 gift cards and certificates for local businesses. Squares on the gift card tree board are $10 each; those on the meat boards are $5 each.
Anyone interested in displaying the boards at their business is asked to contact Miller to make arrangements.
Many churches in the region have canceled their traditional – and very popular – annual fall dinners due to COVID, but revenue from such events is important to churches’ financial stability.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church parish leaders are hopeful that this year’s fundraising efforts will be successful, Miller said.
Last year’s event, including the dinner, brought in a total of $15,500, he said. “We’re on track to beat it.”