By Stephanie Meditz
The Ladies Aide Society of Trinity-St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Maspeth rang in the new season with its annual Harvest Festival and Flea Market.
Each year, members of the society compile old books, interesting knick knacks, fresh vegetables and even homemade baked goods to raise money for people in need.
The society, which has been around for over 100 years, held its first Harvest Festival since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the members, Sue Cron, said that the society still had items left over from the last Flea Market two years ago to sell.
“We usually ask our members [for donations]…you’re doing your spring cleaning, if it’s in good shape,” she said. “And then pass the word out to your family.”
Cron also commented on the high quality of many of the goods sold at the Flea Market, including new backpacks.
“Our members are very good. They’re very generous,” she said. “We’re very fortunate, we have a good group of people…we have friends of the church that are very good and give donations.”
Carole Wildenberger, co-president of the Ladies Aide Society, found many goods to sell during her recent move from Maspeth.
“That’s how we usually get all of our donations and things. People are moving or, we have an older congregation, they start downsizing, and they have a lot of good stuff,” she said.
Wildenberger was excited to resume the Flea Market after two years and finally celebrate with the community.
“We wanted to try to get started again, of course it’s kind of hard now with the inflation,” she said. “I think we need to get [people’s] mind off things, so I figured we’d go ahead with it.”
Wildenberger is also thrilled with her new role as co-president and proud to lead a group of women so dedicated to community service.
“We’ve always been lucky. We have a wonderful team of women,” she said. “All hard workers, all dedicate themselves…it’s fun, we get together and we have fun. A lot of work, but it’s fun. I enjoy doing it.”
In addition to its annual Flea Market, the society does everything it can to help Trinity-St. Andrews Church and the Maspeth community.
“Basically, whatever we raise, we have money there for when the church needs something. Ladies Aide will contribute that money to a certain amount,” Wildenberger said. “If we know anybody needs something, we’ll try to do something…basically, for anything that the church needs, we’re the only association that’s left that still donates.”
Upon learning that a family in the community was struggling, the society brought Thanksgiving food items to the church for the pastor to give to the family.
The society also donates the food left over from the Flea Market.
“What we don’t sell with the vegetables, we always take over to Sacred Heart because they have the food pantry,” Cron said.
The Ladies Aide Society will hold its annual Spring Auction on Apr. 29.