Octoberfest mixes fun with charity

Published 7:00 am Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Wiggins organization is giving back to their community through an Octoberfest celebration this Saturday.

The Octoberfest celebration, sponsored by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Wiggins, a non-profit charity, will feature arts, crafts, food and children’s games on Oct. 10 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Westside Community Center, located at 45 Magnolia Road in Perkinston.

Mitzi Rayborn has been an associate member of the international organization for the past couple of years. Rayborn, along with her husband Denny, dedicate much of their time to helping people in need through the Wiggins branch.

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“We’re based on friendship, love, truth, faith, hope and charity. We want to leave this world better than when we came to it,” Rayborn said.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Wiggins is one of the most active charities in the state of Mississippi, spending more than $12,000 over a two-year period between 2013 and 2014, to help those less fortunate by providing food and assistance with utility bills and car payments, Mitzi said.

“If someone had an accident or are out of work, that’s where we step in and provide whatever they need,” Mitzi said.

The local chapter is funded through donations from the community. They also raise money through charity events, including the Octoberfest celebration, which they’ve hosted for several years.

The event is free, but there will be vendors in attendance selling arts and crafts, candles, quilts and homemade jellies. Guests can also enjoy an assortment of food such as funnel cakes, cotton candy, hotdogs, popcorn and drinks.

Proceeds from the event will go to three other local chapters within the organization, including the Jeff Davis Odd Fellow Lodge, the Robert E. Lee. Encampment and the Esther Rebekah Lodge—all located in Purvis.

“We’re trying to give back to the other lodges in the area that way they can help people in need,” Mitzi said.

The Wiggins chapter also supports education by awarding a scholarship to a local graduating senior on an annual basis. Mitzi said they’re currently looking for more members to join and help their mission.

Currently, there are spots open for those interested in setting up a booth during the celebration. For more information, contact Mitzi at 601-928-9200.