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By Carssa Sitki
The holiday shopping season is now in full swing and the non-profit, JCH Ambulance Association (JCHAA), kicked things off last Saturday, Nov. 20, with a Holiday Bazaar at the Father William Hembrow Center, 306 N. Washington St., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Like many things, the JCHAA annual Holiday Bazaar was canceled last year due to the pandemic, but was back in action this year. “We started in 2019, but because of COVID, this is only the second year for the bazaar,” said one of JCHAA’s founders, JCH Paramedic Nathan Bishop. “We hope to keep doing this every year.”
Proceeds from JCHAA events are used to obtain medical equipment and vehicles. Since its start, six years ago, the non-profit has managed to obtain over $100,000 worth of life-saving tools. The JCHAA has been able to fully fund a rapid response vehicle; partially fund a new JCH ambulance; donate automated external defibrillators (AED) throughout Jerseyville; and purchase a Stryker Power Stretcher, Lucas CPR Device, and Stryker Stair Chair. “We’ve received a tremendous amount of support from the community and they recognize the importance of the ambulance service,” said Bishop.
The Bazaar hosted 45 craft, food, and specialty vendors, who paid a fee to participate. “We are very pleased with the turnout and our vendors are happy too,” he said.
There was a cash raffle with $10,000 in prizes and gift basket raffle, featuring 47 baskets donated to the event. Additionally, there was a door prize drawing for a Thanksgiving dinner grocery shopping spree, Safety Pup and fingerprinting program, and more. Donations to the food pantry were also collected during the event.
Bishop said that the JCHAA tries to put as much into these fundraisers as they can so that they can continue to serve the area with their mission.
“I’d like to give a great big thank you to the community for all of their support and donations and the vendors for participating,” said Bishop. “See you in the spring at our fish fries!”