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Fundraiser helps kids attend Woodbury Lutheran Preschool via scholarships

The Woodbury Lutheran Preschool Christmas Boutique marks its 20th year in 2015. The boutique has helped to raise thousands of dollars to help educate many of Woodbury’s youngsters.

Started in 1995 by Woodbury Lutheran Director of Preschool and Extended Learning Dorothy Blaisdell, the event has featured dozens of vendors, and raised funds to cover the cost of multiple projects.

It was started as a bake sale and boutique, Blaisdell said, and continued as both for a number of years. Over time, the popularity of the boutique side emerged, and the bake sale part was dropped. 

Because it is set up in one hallway of the preschool, space is an issue and organizers try to offer as many different things as possible for the boutique, Woodbury Lutheran Administrative Assistant  Lisa Schommer said. 

“We will have a lot of different things,” she said. “We really try to give a whole variety when it comes to our vendors.”

This year’s vendors will be selling things like jewelry, cards, gourmet foods, flower arrangements, makeup, books, wooden bowl artwork and crafted signs made from salvaged wood. The preschool will also be selling school spirit wear. 

Proceeds from this year’s boutique will be used for technology in the classroom, Blaisdell said. In the past, funds have gone to things like large muscle room equipment, classroom equipment, and small motor skills toys. 

Proceeds are also put into a scholarship fund to help families who need assistance send their children to the preschool.

“The scholarships have always been a big thing for us,” Blaisdell said. “Mainly, the proceeds have always gone to children and their needs in the school.”

About the preschool

Woodbury Lutheran Preschool has been open for 45 years, Blaisdell said. In that time, the preschool itself has changed quite a bit, but its popularity among families has continued to flourish. In fact, many of the kids who are enrolled are children of former students.

“We have a very well-known program in the community,” Blaisdell said. “We’re very family-oriented.”

The preschool typically has about 125 students enrolled, but the school does have openings for children ages 3-5. Enrollment for next year’s program starts in January, and an open house is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 12.

“The open house is a great way to come in and see what it’s all about,” Schommer said. “This school has been around a long time. It’s been a great starting point for the kids.”

The preschool is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. 

The Christmas Boutique will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 18-19 in the east entrance to Woodbury Lutheran Church, 7380 Afton Rd., Woodbury. For more information, call 651-739-5146.

Woodbury Lutheran Church will also be kicking off its annual Operation Christmas Child holiday box giving drive during the boutique. Shoeboxes or small containers filled with small toys, school supplies and other trinkets are shipped to impoverished areas of the world through Operation Christmas Child. 

A portion of the boutique proceeds, this year, will also be donated to Operation Christmas Child, to help the organization defray the cost of sending the gifts to the third-world countries.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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