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Papoose Club Highlights Men, Cookies and the Holiday Bazaar
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Anna Mathieu, Sharla Smith and John Carreiro share leadership roles in the Papoose Club.
   
Sunday, November 13, 2022
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

The Papoose Club has its roots in a group of Ketchum moms who formed a babysitting co-op in the 1950s so they could take turns skiing.

In short order it evolved into an expanded group of mothers who wanted to raise money to fund children’s organizations in the valley through such fundraisers as the Wagon Days Pancake Breakfast.

Just recently the nonprofit organization took another big step in its evolutionary process as members elected the organization’s first male president and first male treasurer.

 
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Krista Gehrke shows off the cookie recipe book that the Papoose Club created last year.
 

John Carreiro took over the helm just a couple years after the club decided to embrace male members. And Rich Puddicombe assumed the role of treasurer, alongside vice president Anna Mathieu, historian Sharla Smith and publicity co-officers Krista Gehrke and Mary Gonzales-Romero.

“I jumped in to help at the pancake breakfast shortly after we moved here in 2018 and I fell in love with the fact that everything they do is for the kids,” said Carreiro. “I grew up with parents who were big members of the community and they insisted that I, my brother and sister give back, as well. To this day I get involved in what I can.”

Carreiro and the others assume their leadership roles just as the organization is gearing up for its annual Holiday Bazaar on Dec. 3 and 4. And members of the community are invited to join the planning meeting on Monday, Nov. 14, at The Senior Connection.

Socializing will begin at 6:45 p.m. followed by a short meeting at 7, during which members will entertain two grant requests and then focus on the bazaar.

 
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Maureen Puddicombe gives a report on the Kindercup, which is considered a rite of passage for youngsters who go on to race on the world stage.
 

And those who want to get their hands in the dough can follow up Monday’s meeting with a cookie baking night from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Hanger Bakery in Hailey.

“We need volunteers as this event requires a whole lot of support to make it successful,” said Carreiro. “If you have a student at home who is in need of volunteer hours, this is a great opportunity for them. I encourage anyone to come out. We hear from a couple organizations, enjoy drinks and snacks and give money away.”

Those who attended September’s meeting at the newly reopened Mint in Hailey noshed on bacon-wrapped dates and artichoke hearts and sipped wine as they listened to Jessica Bejot and Jennifer Holly-Smith make a pitch for new gymnastics mats for their expanding cheerleading program at Wood River High School. The two coaches explained how the mats were needed to teach their cheerleaders how to do such things as backhand springs. They would be used for years to come, added Bejot.

“We try to take the girls beyond being cheerleaders to being community leaders.,” she added, noting that coaches had even reviewed an online course to learn how to instill positive character traits in their young charges. “We help them be successful way after high school years. The girls could even help with events in the future.”

 
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Guests and members help themselves to some of the hors d’oeuvres at the meeting at The Mint.
 

“The girls can bake 18 cookies each for our holiday bazaar!” Kristin Anderson was quick to respond.

Members approved the $1,000 request for mats. They also gave St. Thomas Playhouse money to put on their upcoming Children’s Theater Tour of “The Tortoise and The Hare” for preschools, elementary schools and libraries. And they gave the Sun Valley Museum of Arts a grant to help take Sammy Miller and the Congregation, a New Orleans jazz band, to middle and high schools.

Maureen Puddicombe told how 300 children in costume turned out for the annual Kindercup last March.

“It’s so much fun. All the kids have bibs with race numbers on them and all the parents get pictures of their little ones. And it’s absolutely free to anyone,” she said.

Alexis Lindley reported that May’s Plant Sale made $10,000, while Papoose Club made $13,000 serving up 1,300 breakfasts at Ketchum’s Wagon Days Pancake breakfast with the help of several businesses that provided equipment and sponsorships.

“People were happy that we were back after the two years off due to the pandemic,” added Carreiro.

Looking forward to December’s Holiday Bazaar, Kristen Anderson encouraged members to join her selling holiday cookies.

“It’s the funnest thing you can imagine doing,” she said. “Everybody walks through the door so you get to greet all your friends and neighbors. And every once in a while, you get to sample a broken cookie.”

Most of all, Anderson added, she loves how the event raises money for youth projects.

“We have a lot of fun and we don’t just give money to the community--we also build community.”

WANT TO HELP?

The Papoose Club’s 2022 Holiday Bazaar will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, and from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at Hemingway STEAM School in Ketchum. It will feature handmade gifts from more than 50 artists from across the Intermountain West who have been selected by jury.

To volunteer, go to https://signup.com/client/invitation2/secure/916984675917332084/false#/invitation. Questions? Contact Bazaar Chair Kaz Thea at kazthea@mac.com or 208-720-7805.

The Papoose Club is one of the valley’s long-running all-volunteer non-profits. It raises money to support cultural, social, educational and athletic activities for the children of the Wood River Valley through three fundraisers: Ketchum’s Wagon Days Pancake Breakfast, the Holiday Bazaar and the Webb Nursery Plant Sale.

The organization also partners with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation to put on the long-running Kindercup—an alpine race for youngsters held every March on Dollar Mountain—and the newer Nordic Cup.

Claudia Klokke, the newly crowned Member of the Year, and others have put together a new yearly sponsorship program, which gives the community the opportunity to help support the non-profit organization yearround.

Learn more at https://www.papooseclub.org.

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