A large Nativity display specially made by Sticks for Habitat for Humanity’s Nativity Festival will be up for grabs in a silent auction, with proceeds benefitting Habitat’s work in Greene County.

Events to benefit Habitat’s work

This weekend features Q&A with Sticks founder and artist

Special to The Jefferson Herald
One of Iowa’s best-known and most successful artists is helping Habitat for Humanity fund its work in Greene County by coming to Jefferson Sunday for a public reception and a “conversation” that will serve as the opening event in Habitat’s third annual Nativity Festival.

Sarah Grant, founder and original artist of the Des Moines-based art and furniture company Sticks, will meet the public at 2 p.m. during a free reception at the Gallup House.

She has agreed to be interviewed in front of the crowd by Iowa writer Chuck Offenburger, now a resident of Greene County.

Offenburger, now semi-retired after a career as a Des Moines Register columnist, said he has long wanted to have time with Grant for an interview and story.

“Somehow, it just never happened until now, when I’ve gotten involved helping on the Habitat Nativity Festival,” he said. “I asked her if we could get together for a conversation, and let an audience sit in on it, and that it would not only be fun but we could do some good with it.”

Grant is a native of Ames whose art education was at Iowa State, Colorado State and the University of Iowa.

Her art has been designed into renovations of business offices and even whole hospitals, including Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines.

The Sticks company has employed as many as 200 over the past 25 years.

Another of their unique projects was making, carving and painting a table for the local Gallup House that tells the story of George H. Gallup, the American pollster who grew up there.  

More than 100 galleries nationwide sell Sticks work.

At Sunday’s event, the public will get its first look at a large Nativity display made by Sticks for the local Habitat organization, which will offer it in a silent auction.

Sticks President Rachel Eubank, who is Grant’s daughter, offered the local Habitat group a substantial discount from the retail price of a large Nativity.

The group paid $890 — the starting bid in the silent auction, which will be held open until the close of the Nativity Festival on Dec. 14.

The festival itself is being held at the First United Methodist Church in Jefferson.

It begins at 3 p.m., when a display of 75 or more locally owned Nativity sets will be open for viewing.

At 4 p.m., a community concert will be presented in the church sanctuary featuring local church choirs, small groups and two soloists.

At 5:15 p.m., there will be a soup supper and pie auction.

All proceeds will be used for Habitat for Humanity projects in Greene County.

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