Plucking A Duck For Operation Santa Claus?

People browse the tables of hand-made crafts at the DHHS' annual Holiday Craft Fair.

The DHHS, Division of Public Health Services hosted its third Annual Craft Fair benefiting Operation Santa Claus on Wednesday in the atrium at 29 Hazen Drive.

No ducks were harmed in this fundraising event. "Pluck a Duck" was one of the bigger draws at the DHHS Division of Health Services' Holiday Craft Fair held Wednesday.

One of the main attractions was “Pluck a Duck.” What on earth is that, we asked ourselves.  Come to find out, it was far less offensive than one might suppose. It involved a duck decoy, fancy toothpicks, and prizes. For a small amount of money, you could pluck one of the frilly toothpicks that served as quills on the duck. Once “plucked” you examine the end of the extracted toothpick, which may or may not be colored – no color, no win. If you were lucky enough to pluck a winning quill, the tip color coincided with a variety of fun prizes.

Many great hand-made crafts were available.

Organizers of the event were delighted with the turnout. They mentioned that more people from other buildings attended than in previous years.  That’s for good reason, as the event featured about a dozen different crafters selling items ranging from jewelry to hand-painted notecards to baked goods.

The event also included a series of themed gift baskets filled to the brim with fabulous items varying from a chocolate lover’s delight to kitchen gadgets. There was even a 50/50 raffle, as well as a used book sale to round out the experience. This year’s event raised $1,400 for OSC plus another $300 raised independently by the Public Health Lab.

How It Comes Together

According to one of the organizers, Gloria Zela, there is a tremendous amount of planning that takes place to guarantee the success of this event. First, she says that selecting the correct date is key. “We try to plan it around a pay week so people have extra cash,” she said.  “We also contact all of the programs within DPHS to get them to participate in donating and assembling the themed baskets for the raffle.” She also notes that publicity is very important. The planning group posts flyers throughout the building and sends email invites and reminders leading up to the date of the event.

“We work so hard to provide children in the state of NH a happy holiday and put smiles on their faces when they open their gifts,” said Gloria. “Without this opportunity they wouldn’t have one.”

You can view a slideshow from the event at

Thank you, DHHS/DPHS for a great fundraiser!

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