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Big turnout for Big Thursday

By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Reporter
Published on Thursday, November 5, 2015

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Big Thursday was also about getting a sneak peek admiring the little shoppers. Andrea Wilson was at Fairview Baptist Church  with her husband, Roman, and their infant sons, Paxton and Gavin.
 

Garrett Mitchell

Big Thursday was also about getting a sneak peek admiring the little shoppers. Andrea Wilson was at Fairview Baptist Church  with her husband, Roman, and their infant sons, Paxton and Gavin.

 



Enlarge photo

Charlie Reider, left, rings up a sale.
 

Garrett Mitchell

Charlie Reider, left, rings up a sale.

 

Before the lights were turned off and doors locked at Fairview Baptist Church, Big Thursday, the Greer Community Ministries fundraiser, was said to be one of the most attended in recent years.

"I will tell you that we have had more traffic in here all day long than in the three years I have been associated with Big Thursday," Cindy Simpler, GCM Executive Director, said.

The fundraising event started 36 years to help feed the hungry in the Greer community.

Fairview Baptist Church teamed up with other local churches to host the annual Big Thursday fundraiser.

Events included a barbecue lunch prepared by the Bucket Boys, online and silent auctions, and the selling of arts, crafts, gifts, and edible goodies prepared by local parishioners.

"Thirty-six years ago a group of people got together and decided to do (Big Thursday) as a fundraiser and it's a good way to bring the community together," Krista Gibson of GCM said.

Among the items sold were donations from businesses throughout Greer who offered their products for sale.

"Vendors and businesses that support us also give us products to sell and we get all of the proceeds," Gibson said.

"This year we also had an online auction. In the past we've also had a live auction at night and that's a big change for us, but we're trying to bring in a younger crowd," Gibson said.

Greer Community Ministries serves approximately 91,000 meals per year.

"Big Thursday is one of our three major events each year and those three events account for about twenty-five percent of our total revenue," Simpler said.

"It's a very important event in terms of fueling our ministry and enabling us to keep on serving people in our community," she said.

Among the plethora of items for sale were crafts and ornaments made by women from local churches as well as pies, cakes, cookies, and other deserts.

Simpler credits volunteers for making the event a success. "I couldn't even begin to count the number of volunteer hours that went into putting this event together," Simpler said.

"The one thing about Greer you see time and again is, it is a community," Simpler said. "People care about each other, whether it's the business community, the church community, or just neighbors around."

"Every $4 you spend you buys a meal for a hungry person in Greer," said Gibson. That means the 800 pounds of barbecue served at lunch raised a hefty amount.

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