The Local Market was back for its annual Christmas vendor event on Sunday at the Portuguese Cultural Centre in Bradford.
The event was free with donations encouraged, all in support of two baby girls, Eva Batista and Chloe Sousa, from the Toronto area who are fighting the same disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). The disease affects the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to eat, walk, or breathe properly.
Both families are seeking assistance through Go Fund Me Pages to help aid in their expensive cost of treatment, at over $2 million dollars each. The treatment is not yet available in Canada.
To help raise money at the market, there was a gift wrapping station, silent auction and raffle table, with items donated by local vendors, and all proceeds going toward the cause.
Some vendors who were unable to attend the event even had some items shipped to be included in the fundraiser.
Shirley Malo and Inesia Mendonca are the two local women who organized the event together.
“We are trying to raise money for two families battling with SMA, we’ve gathered together some raffle prizes and everyone has come together as a community,” explained Malo.
Despite the dreary weather conditions, there was still a line up to get in just before the doors opened at 10 a.m.
The first 25 visitors each received a free swag bag sponsored by Jill Yoga, filled with items donated by the vendors at the market.
Vendors were set up throughout the room, with many of them from the Bradford area, but some from out of town as well. There were many unique holiday gifts to choose from, including custom wooden signs and handcrafted paper cards.
At the front of the hall, was a mini hot cocoa and snack station with fruits and cheese platters from Blissful Boards. There was even a seating area decked out with Christmas themed decor for the guests to sit down, relax and take break from shopping.
Santa hosted a magic story time for all the children and posed for photos with guests.
And Christmas mini photo shoots were happening on the main stage by local photography company, Eden Pereira Photography for $25, with all proceeds going toward Batista and Sousa.
When the kids were feeling restless from shopping, there was a playzone courtesy of Block Party Rental, set up in the back corner with a ball pit, slide and ride on toys to burn off steam.
On site hair and manicure services were set up beside the stage courtesy of Angela Rego Beauty and Patricia’s Esthetics.
“It’s really nice, and it really kind of sets the tone as a community, how we all come together and really help these families,” said Malo.