BOUNTIFUL – One of the most popular events hosted by the St. Olaf Council of Women, is the New Beginnings Luncheon
But it’s only one of a number of activities the group is involved in.
This year’s luncheon is set for Saturday, Jan. 26 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at St. Olaf Catholic Church, 1800 South Orchard Drive.
Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Kirby will be the guest speaker. Tickets are $12 per person prior to Jan. 22 and $15 after.
Funds raised from the luncheon are used toward myriad projects from stuffing stockings for the homeless, to providing layettes for low income women who have just given birth, to providing service to parishioners such as meals for grieving families, said Council of Women President Kirsten Mele.
The Christmas stocking stuffer project is among the most popular. It’s something the entire parish becomes involved in.
“We stuff the stockings with toiletry items,” Mele said.
This past year, they also collected gloves and mufflers, an idea that was initiated by a Boy Scout attending St. Olaf.
Students at St. Olaf School also became involved in raising funds for the toiletry items.
The day the stockings are stuffed, a potluck is held and entire families come out to participate, Mele said.
The most fulfilling project for Mele is giving sympathy cards and welcoming newcomers.
“I like doing this for people individually to make them a part of the community,” she said.
All women 18 and older who are members of St. Olaf are members of the Council of Women, Mele said. Members come from as far away as Salt Lake City to the south and Layton to the north.
The council began in 1947, and was originally called the Altar Society, in charge of cleaning the altar. Just recently that was changed so that the altar cleaning has been merged with the general church cleaning, Mele said.
Mele has been a member of the council for 14 years, and has been on the board of directors for six years.
While all women in the parish are members, participation dwindled through the years as women became more involved in the workforce and had less time to devote to the council, she said.
The luncheon “is a really big event,” Mele said, and is open to the public.
There will be a basket drawing featuring a Kindle Fire, a one-night stay at the Grand America, dinner at Martine’s Cafe and tickets for Ballet West’s performance of “Jewels.”
The suggested donation for the drawing is 10 for $12 or 24 for $20.
Luncheon tickets are available through Mele at 801-231-5026.