A Season for Giving Back

By Molly Schecklman —

Remembrance. That seems to be the key meaning behind the Last Blast Santa Craft and Vendor Sale.

The sale was started back in 2012 when Rebecca Hei lost her grandfather and was looking for a way to cope with her loss.  Hei’s grandfather was a short-time resident at Neighbors of Dunn County (NDC) before his passing. She wanted to give back in some way.

Hei came up with the idea to contact a few of her fellow, crafty friends and start their own show.  Seeing as though a lot of Hei’s friends also had family members that stayed at NDC before their passing, they decided to have the proceeds go back to the Sugar Bowl Fund at the healthcare center.

A great deal of time and effort goes into this remembrance show.  Hei figures that the whole thing takes about 13 months to actually complete.  With the planning, securing the vendors, the media appearances and the organization of the food booth and bake sale, it can really add up to a lot of time and hard work.  As soon as one show is finished, the next one has already begun.

“Last year there were a couple of ladies shopping with about a 10-month-old little girl. They purchased a stuffed ball from a booth and the rest of the day the little girl was smiling, laughing and playing away with the ball.  It was just the cutest thing you have ever seen.  Needless to say, I can’t pick just one thing that is my favorite thing about the show, because without everything, it wouldn’t be the show that it is,” said Hei.   

Hei mentioned that the idea of doing more than one show a year was tossed around, but with all the work that goes into just the one, it wouldn’t be possible to give each show the attention it deserves.  The sale also takes a lot out of each volunteer emotionally as well, because it is a way of honoring and remembering the people they have lost during the holiday season.

-The sale will be held at the Oaklawn Elementary School in Menomonie on Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Pictures with Santa will also be offered. All proceeds from the food and bake sale go to Neighbors of Dunn County.

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