By Dana Delgado
BERTRAM — For an enchanting weekend of shopping, explore and discover some handcrafted treasures Saturday, Nov. 2 at the American Legion Post 607 in Bertram.
Some are destined for giving with the holidays on the horizon while others are meant to keep. Either way, Post 607 welcomes visitors to its monthly Arts and Crafts Fair held the first Saturday of every month where the glow, warmth and flair of Central Texas craftsmen abound.
“We’ve had a pretty good turnout from the vendors and are looking to increased attendance as the holidays approach,” said Post Adjutant Terry Hale. “We just try to support all veterans and their families in any way possible through fundraisers like this.”
Booths will be set up Saturday morning at 160 Legion Place in Bertram next to the American Legion building, which is adjacent to the town park off of State Highway 29.
The Arts and Crafts Fair offers a variety of items including textiles, fiber art, jewelry, woodwork and mixed media. Recently, craftsmen from a variety of locations have had items for sale.
Richard Neiman, who took up woodworking only a year ago at age 86 after retiring from White Sands Missile Range near El Paso, had pressure-treated pine benches available for sale.
Debbie Altenburg had a variety of hand-crafted jewelry while Isabel Paris from Leander offered girls and boys clothing she designed and made. Sara Ivicic of Bertram, Lanelle Cooper from Lexington, and Maedelle Anthony of Hutto made it a family event offering a variety of items including baby blankets, crochet items and Christmas novelties.
Bertram residents Claude and Ellie Burks have been selling fabric crafts and wood creations, while Aldeen Smith has made available unique yard art made from repurposed articles. The Post also offers food items for sale at its snack bar including hot dogs, French fries and hamburgers.
Vice Post Commander Don Atkins said the arts and crafts venture raises money for various programs including scholarships for area high school graduating students. American Legion Post 607 also supports the Boy’s State and Boy’s Nation, which helps young men learn firsthand how government works, and provides funds for the children of military personnel who lost their lives after 9/11.
“We also have Veterans Day activities/ parades, children’s Easter egg hunts, and place American Flags on graves of veterans,” added Atkins. “In addition, we support the Vet Rides program for Vets and widows of Vets needing transportation to and from medical appointments and other needs of transportation.”
New members are always welcome to join the Post, which currently has 46 members ranging in age from their late thirties to their late eighties from all branches of the Armed Forces from across Central Texas, but are looking for new members particularly younger members.
“We welcome veterans to come and join us,” said Hale. “We welcome all branches of the military who have seen active duty during a foreign war or conflict.”
Lane Shipp is the Post Commander.
Vendors interested in selling handcrafted items can call Don Atkins at (512) 508-1997.