Submitted by Malia Sanford
The time has arrived! Cue the trumpets: Too-too-too-toom! The Holiday Bazaar is here! From 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30 (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) the Lopez School Gym and other common spaces will be transformed into a holiday-cheer extravaganza, with wonderful wares, enjoyable experiences and delicious delights for sale. A percentage of the profits from this event support the Lopez Cooperative Preschool, as well as the local economy. 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the Preschool Holiday Bazaar, and many people are saying that it just might be “the best Holiday Bazaar ever!”
A few improvements have been made to the layout of the event: the cashier stations will be inside the gym, so that paying for your artisanal gifts and goodies will be a more streamlined experience; cash, check and credit cards will be accepted at all three cashier stations; photos with Santa will take place in the main entrance of the school; there will be a kids crafting corner for younger shoppers to get creative; plus a silent auction has been added to the mix. As always, people can anticipate an amazing array of local, talented vendors selling their unique, hand-crafted wares. Fifteen percent of vendor sales are contributed to the Preschool.
While the Gym will be hopping with vendors and shoppers and cashiers and crafters, the Gym Foyer will be abuzz with other fun, festive and fundraising activities. As always, the much beloved and sweet-tooth satisfying bake sale will be happening, with homemade goodies for sale, all baked lovingly to perfection by the preschool families. 100 percent of bake sale proceeds become preschool funds, so it’s a real win-win situation. Looking for something a bit heartier or more savory? There will also be food trucks! Both the local faves—Poutine Your Mouth and El Taco ‘Bout It—will be slingin’ their hot and tasty menus to hungry holiday shoppers on site.
And please, don’t forget to buy your raffle tickets! This year promises a wonderful variety of prizes, from dog grooming, house cleaning and local restaurant gift certificates to farm baskets, seasonal bouqets and original artworks by local artists…and much more. The equation works like this: the more tickets you buy, the more tickets you get, and the more likely you are to win big, so don’t hold back! In addition to the raffle, this year marks the inaugural appearance of a silent auction for some bigger-ticket prizes. Items up for auction include: a one-night stay in the Quarryman Hall deluxe suite plus dining package at the Roche Harbor Resort; a grinder from Sunset Builders Supply; ten yards of pit-run gravel delivered on island by Lopez Sand and Gravel; and the creme de la creme: a seven-foot Douglas Fir Christmas tree, donated by 4H and decorated with ornaments handcrafted by this year’s preschool children! The tree includes lights, garlands, tree-stand and delivery to your home or business. Deck the halls! There are even more prizes, but you’ll have to come to the Bazaar to see for yourselves and place a bid or two (or three). All of the proceeds from raffle ticket and silent auction sales go directly to support the preschool.
And that’s what this day, this long-standing island holiday tradition, is all about: supporting an essential Lopez institution whilst celebrating local creativity. The funds raised by the Holiday Bazaar make up one-fourth of the Lopez Cooperative Preschool’s income. Bazaar profits go towards supporting operating costs, scholarships to families in need and classroom enrichment programs and materials. The value of early childhood education and care cannot be overstated, and investing in institutions that support and encourage young children is so important to an individual child, and to a community as a whole. So please, you all know what to do, it’s been happening for 40 years! Come to the Holiday Bazaar; get your shopping done early; support your artist and farmer friends and neighbors; socialize with your other friends and neighbors that will undoubtedly be there too; support the preschool; keep your money local; reduce your carbon footprint; fill your bellies; and bring some folks along! See you there.