This is the time of the year when people are looking for craft fairs, and Durham Community School is ready to fill that need.

The Parent Teacher Association at the school raises approximately $16,000 a year to support the students and staff. A nice chunk of that – around $2,500 – comes from the annual Durham Community School Craft Fair, this year scheduled for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12.

Laurel Gervais, PTA vice president, said last week that tables in the school gymnasium are available for $30, until Thursday. Those interested should email [email protected]

“We have fit in over 40 tables in that gym before,” Gervais said. “We also have raffles of goods donated by crafters, and we get money from food sales.”

The craft fair food tables feature homemade soups and baked goods, as well as hot dogs. A “hunter’s lunch” begins at noon.

“I tell you, we have some of the best soups around,” Gervais said. “We have a broccoli cheese soup that sells out every year.”

Gervais said that money raised by the PTA helps pay for visiting authors, school supplies and field trips – anything not covered by the school budget.

“We’re trying to get new and fresh ideas,” she said. “The craft fair is a community event. It started small, but it has grown. Local crafters purchase tables, they sell their goods and everybody wins.”

Jennifer Pratt, sister to PTA President Julie Williams, is a regular – a successful regular at that – at the Durham Community School Craft Fair. Pratt stations herself near the front of the gym, and quickly sells her modestly priced dip mixes.

“I like being able to do things to help my nieces and the school,” said Pratt, a research analyst for the Muskie School at the University of Southern Maine. “I’m told I have good dips. People seem to love them. I’m known to some of the school teachers as the dip lady.”

She sells dip mixes that she makes, layered in cones, for $2. Dip sets, which include a bowl, whisk and the dip, are $5 – Pratt’s maximum.

Pratt sells her dips at other craft fairs, and says the the Durham Community School fair is one of the best.

“It’s very warm and welcoming,” she said. “I feel like I’m giving back in some way. I don’t mind helping my sister out.”

Jennifer Pratt regularly is stationed near the front of the gym to sell her dip mixes at the Durham Community School Craft Fair.