'From small things, big things grow' is a saying that Phil Mitchell, Cath McDonald and Fr Jiss Sunny were not expecting when the idea of the St Mary's Parish putting on a fete was first brought up.
Yet with only two weeks until the Catholic Church will host the Hilltops Healing Christmas Fete there are already over 26 stalls, jumping castles, games and entertainment galore for the event designed to bring the community together after another tough year dealing with COVID.
The inception of the Fete began when Phil was invited to the Parish Office for a cup of coffee.
"We sat down and had a cuppa and we started talking about trying to have some sort of social activity," Phil said. "Initially we were looking at the Parish and we thought we should do this wider and then we started talking about how the community throughout the whole Hilltops is really suffering and we would like to do something for the Hilltops community."
According to Phil between drought, COVID and now rain events, they really wanted to put on a social event that would help to lift the community's spirits, and with the fete there is the added bonus that they can also donate money that will go back into the local community.
All money raised or donated throughout the fete from locals and stall holders will be given to St Vincent de Paul in Young for locals who need it.
"We just wanted to reach out to everybody and make sure they were okay," he said. "So we started talking about a fete and then we called it the Hilltops Healing Christmas Fete, which is what our focus is."
In the beginning Phil thought if they could even get eight stalls they would be doing well and still be able to offer locals a fun filled event that the community could come together for, however, where it is ending up is a lot bigger than that small thought with 26 stalls already booked in at the time of going to print.
Even Fr Jiss is joining in by cooking at one of the fete stalls.
"Father said that he wanted to cook, and I thought I haven't tasted his cooking, it's a little bit of a risk," Phil joked.
"Fr Allen is very passionate about his art so he's got the Art Society down here and putting up art."
But that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what will be on offer at the fete with a White Elephant Sale, plenty of different styles of food, face painting, handmade gifts, arts, crafts, books and so much more.
"We have a jumping castle and an inflatable twister and an inflatable dart board," Phil said.
The business bringing all of the inflatable fun over from Yass is only charging the Parish for two of the three novelties, while other locals have pledged to donate all of their earnings from their stalls.
There is no charge for anyone wanting to have a stall with it being entirely up to the individual if they would like to donate at the end of the day.
"Some people said, what if they don't donate? Maybe they are one of those that needed healing," Phil said.
Anyone wanting to join in and either hold a stall or would like to take part with the entertainment for the event, can get in contact with Bill Kearney on 63825555.
The fete is on Saturday December 11 from 3pm.
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