oSaturday's annual Rafts of Crafts event was more than an opportunity to get some holiday shopping done. It was also an opportunity to help local students.
More than 500 people attended the annual craft show featuring vendors from all across the state during the day-long event at Neligh-Oakdale.
"We're so excited to have over 500 people through our doors today," said Stephanie Wanek, one of the event's organizers. "It's great to see the community come out to support our organization and this craft fair."
The event is an annual tradition in Neligh in mid-November, but this is the first year the Neligh-Oakdale TeamMates Mentoring Program has spearheaded the craft fair. All of the TeamMates board of directors assisted with the event over the weekend, including Wanek.
Several TeamMates mentors and mentees also volunteered their time. The Neligh Chamber of Commerce held a drawing for Chamber Big Bucks to encourage those attending to shop local this holiday season.
"This is the 31st year for this event in Neligh," Wanek said. "It's our first year taking it over as the TeamMates board, so we're very thankful for the Civic & Fine Arts Committee for their leadership on this event."
Besides organizing the event, Wanek said TeamMates also had a concession stand and served a soup luncheon as part of the fundraiser. She said proceeds go toward scholarships, activities and events for their mentoring matches.
"TeamMates is a fantastic organization in our community, and we serve about 30 kids," Wanek said. "We really just set them up for a successful future and add that one person in their life to be their mentor."