While hurricanes have recently rocked southern coasts in the country, one local church is gearing up to raise funds for relief efforts.

The proceeds from Windsor United Church of Christ’s annual Fall Festival typically go toward the church’s budget, getting spent on things like bills and youth work. However, this year, all funds raised from the festival will be sent through the United Church of Christ network to offices in places like Houston and New Orleans, where the money will be distributed to hurricane relief efforts and repair work.

According to Windsor UCC’s Senior Pastor David McDonald, the suggestion to donate the money from the festival originated between a couple of chairpersons within the church. From there, the idea was brought to the congregation on the Sunday before Labor Day.

“We just put it before the congregation and nobody objected,” McDonald said. “… We’ve done this Fall Festival for decades, at least 70 years, probably longer, and we just felt that this was an important thing to do.”

The festival, set for Saturday, Sept. 23, will include an afternoon of shopping, with a craft and bake sale, as well as vendor fair and silent auction, before an all-you-can-eat pork dinner is served from 4-7:30 p.m. Costs for the meal are $12 for adults, $11 for seniors, $7 for children ages 5-12 and those ages 4 and younger will eat for free. Carry-out meals will also be available.

Since the festival funds would usually go back to the church, McDonald said he told parishioners the donation may put a hole in their budget, but several of them then promised to help fill the gap if necessary.

“This was one of those moments where you really do take a leap of faith,” McDonald said. “… But our congregation is going to be fine. There are so many people in so many places that are going to be hurting for months and years, so we hope this makes a difference for some.”

The Fall Festival will kick off on Sept. 23 at 2 p.m. at Windsor UCC, 4434 2nd St. There will be a craft and bake sale and vendor fair ongoing until 7:30 p.m. A silent auction will be held until 6:30 p.m., with the winners being announced at 7:30 p.m. The pork dinner will be available from 4-7:30 p.m.

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