Bazaar Raffle Has Changed Through The Years

The Thanksgiving Day Bazaar at St. Boniface Church in Elgin has a long and treasured history.

This year will mark the 86th bazaar event as families will again gather in the St. Boniface Gymnasium to feast on some of the best homemade foods prepared locally for the event.

For many of the years, the bazaar has featured a raffle for numerous prizes. Members of the church are asked to sell books of tickets. Many families just buy the tickets for themselves. A packet of 10 tickets plus one free ticket costs $10. But that wasn’t always the case.

Not long ago, Mildred Pelster came across one such ticket which was printed for the annual bazaar to be held on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 1942.

The ticket, like the ones for this year’s event, features items being donated by families and businesses.

However, that’s where the similarity ends.

The 1942 bazaar sold tickets for 25 cents apiece or five for $1.

Consider the items which were donated from 1942. They offer a unique insight into the times back then. Among the items donated were: 1/2 ton Utah coal, baking casserole, 175-pound pig, $1 pair hose, a sack of Gooch’s flour, a bushel of pop corn, $2 cash, an electric table lamp, a $1.50 basket of groceries, chassis lubrication and upholstery cleaned, a pair of ducks, a young gilt, quilt top, Indian robe blanket, $2 cash, $1 in groceries, five gallons of gas, two quarts of ice cream, a hassock, 48 pounds of Omar flour, S.H.& F.W. bottle oil, carton of cigarettes, 50 baby chicks, five quarts of oil, two bushels of Irish Cobbler potatoes, China drip-o-lator, pair of feather pillows, 25 pounds of pop corn, hair tonic, 100 pounds of flour, a pig, pair of geese, a $1 fountain pen, one black Poland China male pig, and a 300-pound calf.

In contrast, many of the items on this year’s raffle tickets are for cash prizes, a 40-inch LCD-HDTV, digital camera, and numerous other items.

Among the businesses at the time making donations were Peterson’s Variety Store, Council Oak Store, Flaherty Service Station, Carroll’s Cafe, Brooks Hardware Store, Elgin Feed Store, Elgin Beauty Shop, Armstrong’s 2×4 Diner, Watkins Cleaners, Meyers Hatchery, Anderson & Erickson Station, Farmers Hardware, Elgin Co-op, Paul Schlenz Barber Shop, Stringfellow Service Station, Elgin Drug Store, Farmers Merchandise, and The Elgin Review.

Like today, dinner and supper were served. The cost of dinner back in 1942? Forty cents. And supper? Twenty cents. Dinner was served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. while supper was served from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

As for 2010? Dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the evening buffet will run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.