A local church will kick off the Christmas season with a bazaar featuring work from local artists.
The first annual Giving Hope Christmas Market will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 at Anchor Cove Church, 201 E. Sanilac Road, Caro.
The event was the idea of Kiley Wilczynski, co-founder of Anchor Cove Church along with her husband, David Wilczynski, the church pastor.
Kiley Wilczynski said the market is a fundraiser for the church outreach program Giving Hope.
She said Giving Hope includes several programs, including food-distribution trucks, paying for haircuts for students during back-to-school season and hosting a free laundry night once a month at Vassar Mini Storage & Laundromat, 959 E. Huron Ave.
In addition, this year the church was able to make 39 food baskets for families during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Artists will sell anything from fine art, cards and hand-painted ornaments from artists such as Kingston native Sara Hannick and hand-painted purses and bags from artist and public relations representative Victoria Scelfo.
“I love Christmas,” said Kiley Wilczynski. “I love the environment of Christmas, so to be able to open up to the community and provide gifts and items from local vendors will hopefully meet our fundraising goals. We’ve never done a fundraiser before. This will be the first one to supplement the food trucks and other programs.”
Attendees can also participate in a silent auction during the event.
Previously, all funding came through local donations to the ministry. Food will also be served during the Giving Hope event, including different kinds of soups with a roll, served with tea, coffee and cocoa.
Victoria Scelfo, a local artist who is also doing public relations for the event, said the church gets its truck for food distribution from Eastern Michigan Food Bank, in Flint. Trucks are rented for $750 apiece.
Food can be picked up at the church in the mornings at 10 a.m. during the summer months until September with no check of income necessary.
Eastern Michigan Food Bank gives food to nonprofit organizations in 22 counties across the state.
Kiley Wilczynski said all proceeds from the silent auction will go back to the community through the church’s other programs. There will also be a grab-and-go section in the market where patrons can purchase gift cards donated by local businesses.
The goal is to raise about $4,200, Kiley Wilczynski said.
Anchor Cove Church began operation in February 2010, across the street from Walmart, 1121 E. Caro Road. Within a year, membership grew — outgrowing the size of the church — and the co-founders had to find another building. They later moved to the 17-acre location within a year of searching.
Today, Anchor Cove Church has a membership of about 220 people with two Sunday services, Kiley Wilczynski said.
Though she is not sure how many attendees will show up to Giving Hope, since it is the first year of the market, she said she hopes for a couple hundred.
Scelfo said the vendors will be located within the main sanctuary, a large pole style building, with the exception of Fawn Valley Tree Farm that will bring Christmas trees and wreaths for purchase outside.
“When (Kiley Wilczynski) came up with this idea, it was about home-based businesses or entrepreneurs and art and crafters, which are kinda home-based businesses, too,” said Scelfo. “It’s sort of a mixed bag.”
Twenty-five vendors are slated to participate in the market, selling homemade items, crafts and essential oils.
“I’m excited — I’m anticipating a large turnout,” Kiley Wilczynski added.
Sara Hannick, of Kingston, has been a professional artist for the past seven years. Her artwork focuses on botanical renderings of plants and leaves. At the market, she said she will be selling greeting cards of her original work ($4 each or 3 for $10), hand-painted ceramic ornaments (starting at $10) and bracelets made with gemstones, wood and seeds (start at $10).
“I’m just hoping that people are in the spirit, having a good time and are enjoying themselves,” Hannick said.
Hannick said she has never experienced a show like this and didn’t know what to expect. But if successful, she said she would do it again.
“I’m looking forward to it — it will be a new experience and a lot of fun.”
For more information about the event, call Scelfo at 989-672-2262. For information about the church, call 989-672-2262, email Wilczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Anchor Cove Church’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/anchorcovechurch/.
Debanina Seaton is a reporter for The Advertiser and can be reached at email@example.com.