n addition to being the primary fundraising event for the King William Association, the King William Fair provides a large umbrella that benefits other local nonprofit organizations of various sizes and purposes. Again this year, the Fair will also support two unique international groups with local ties: Friendship Bridge and Rancheritas Rug Hook Project.
Among the local nonprofits that earn funds from their participation at the Fair are our neighbors at St. Joseph’s and Texas Masonic Lodge No. 8, in addition to the Mission Trail Rotary Club that runs our special Kids Kingdom in Upper Mill Park. There are also a number of nonprofits, including the Edgewood Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, Church of Reconciliation and Celebration Circle, that bring their delicious treats to the Fair as food vendors.
In the Art & Craft area, there are several of our local schools, including Bonham Academy, Page Middle School, Brackenridge High School and San Antonio College, that participate by exhibiting student art, allowing the students to experience the process of marketing their work. We also have the Hermann Sons Polkateers and Conjunto Heritage Taller providing entertainment on our stages.
A well-known phrase during Fiesta season is “Party with a Cause.” The King William Fair provides a special opportunity for these organizations to raise funds, and often the funds raised are used to provide student scholarships.
We’d like to share a little more information about the international organizations that exhibit their work at the Fair. Friendship Bridge empowers impoverished Guatemalan women to create a better future for themselves, their children and their communities through microfinance and education. Their work is primarily with indigenous populations in rural areas where the rate of poverty is the highest, and the women involved are determined to create a change. Friendship Bridge provides microcredit, non-formal education and health services to women entrepreneurs that empower them holistically. The fruits of their Artisan Access Program are brought to our Fair.
The Rancheritas Rug Hook Project is located in the small village of Agustin Gonzales, in the central Mexican highlands near San Miguel de Allende. The people of the area are subsistence farmers who grow corn, beans and squash. Fifteen multi-talented women create rugs from 100% wool that has been donated by rug hookers in the U.S. They are the only rug hookers in Mexico, and have been practicing the craft for 20 years.
Their subject matter is the life around them: mountains, cactus, cows, horses, burros, flowers, a small house, a church, ducks, rabbits, chickens, roosters or fish. The proceeds from selling these art pieces help to pay for additional food, children’s schooling, doctor visits and other family needs. Many of the women are the sole support of their families. HGTV recently filmed an episode that featured Las Rancheritas; look for it to air later in the spring.
Please join us in visiting and supporting these nonprofit organizations while you are strolling through the neighborhood on Fair day, knowing that the energy generated by our Fiesta event ripples out in various directions touching many lives, in other communities and even other countries.
- Zet Baer, KW Fair Manager