The Good Samaritan Philoptochos Ladies Society is about to embark on another meaningful mission. They will hold the annual Christmas Bazaar this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10 and 11, inside the Church of the Annunciation’s Mihailides Center-Demetrakas Hall in Cranston.
But the two-day event has a purpose, which is signified by the Society’s name.
“Philoptochos means ‘Friends of the Poor’ in Greek,” explained Georgia Pappas, who is chairing this year’s event. “All proceeds from the bazaar support a wide range of charities. We also sponsor a luncheon in January for St. Basil’s Academy in Garrison, New York.”
St. Basil’s is a safe haven for Orthodox children. Other agencies supported by the Ladies Society include the American Cancer Society, Amos House, Bradley Hospital, Arthritis Foundation, Samaritans, Meeting Street School, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Interfaith Food Ministry, Elizabeth Buffum Chase, R.I. Shriners, Ronald McDonald House, Travelers Aid and other charities.
And while guests can feel good about their contribution, the group members make sure they offer a selection of food that keeps the crowd happy.
“We have the same selection of pastries that our parish’s Cranston Greek Festival is known for,” said Pappas. “And we’re still making our pastries the old-fashioned way.”
Featured on the menu are diples, fried strips of dough topped with chopped walnuts, cinnamon and Greek honey syrup. During “baking nights,” more than a dozen members help to produce 1,000 diples that will be on sale this weekend.
“It takes a lot of hands and time to make our pastries,” Pappas said. “We here at the Church of the Annunciation are blessed to have so many dedicated people who share in our baking duties.”
There are more volunteers who work to man such booths as handcrafts, a Christmas boutique, a Greek marketplace Agora, bingo, white elephant, silent auction that ranges from sports memorabilia to paintings and vintage treasures.
This weekend’s Christmas Bazaar will also offer fine and costume jewelry.
Demetrakas Hall, which is located at 175 Oaklawn Avenue, will be transformed into a marketplace for this weekend’s Philoptochos Ladies Society Christmas Bazaar that will open at 10 a.m. Saturday and run through 8 p.m.
“We’ll be serving lunch and dinner Saturday and Sunday,” Pappas said. “Please come and enjoy our Greek heritage. No reservations are necessary and we even have food and all kinds of pastry to go.”
Sunday’s hours are 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking is free in the Church of the Annunciation’s parking lot. For more information, call 942-4188.