Volunteer appreciation

Bethel Butikk volunteers and guests take part in an appreciation supper hosted by Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Westby, Thursday, May 2.

Over 90 Bethel Butikk (Boutique) volunteers and guests were honored at an appreciation supper hosted by Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Westby, Thursday, May 2. Theme for the event was “Serving Our Communities through the Seasons,” with seasonal centerpieces for each month of the year.

Bethel Butikk is a community outreach program of Bethel Home and Services. It is an all volunteer operation funded by donations of gently used items to the thrift shop, produce and other food pantry items and cash donations to provide food and community mission assistance to families who have exhausted all other resources. Debra Stout Tewalt thanked all the volunteers and announced, “We just need a few strong men and women to step forward for unloading monthly deliveries of groceries. Interested parties may contact Shirley Hagen at 608-634-3473.”

Pastor Pete Beckstrand, member of the Mission Committee, told the group, “I’ve taken youth to mission projects all over the country, and Bethel Butikk stands out as one of the best. Behind every project is a leader like Pastor Gary Daines. He does an outstanding job of leading the mission of Bethel Butikk.” Beckstrand commended the volunteers for their work that allowed them to assist flooded victims this year. “We were able to assist a lot of families with up to $2,000 in grants to help replace furnaces and hot water heaters right away.” In total, the committee distributed $269,357 in mission funds to families in Vernon County and surrounding area.

The annual report distributed to volunteers also showed that 650 different families are served by the food pantry and 1,100 people received gifts, toys and clothing at Christmas. School supplies were also distributed to 121 children.

More than 100 volunteers from Westby, Viroqua, Coon Valley, Cashton, Chaseburg, Genoa, La Farge, Ontario, Readstown, Soldiers Grove and Sparta keep the thrift shop and food pantry open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and until 6 p.m. Tuesdays. Bethel Butikk is also open the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to noon and every Saturday in the summer months. Volunteer applications are available at Bethel Butikk, 341 Black River Ave. in Westby.

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