The Outcome: 3rd Annual Christmas Open House

Wow! What a busy few months it has been leading up to our November 21st 3rd Annual Christmas Open House event. I wanted to provide a wrap up on the day and some of the reasoning as to why I hold these events. I also wanted to thank you for your support, sharing, inviting and attendance. You are what makes us a great community!


We run these events for many reasons, but the primary three are as follows:
1. To give back to my Mom Cafe community (that’s YOU!) and their family and friends. I want an event that is not just another vendor show, but something interactive and with some perks and rewards for the attendees.
2. To showcase local businesses and encourage spending and supporting within our community. I keep vendors fees minimal to try to help small local businesses grow.

3. To be charitable. Each event we chose different local community charities, with a few repeats, to benefit from exposure, financially or with items we can gather and help them with. Collectively as a community we can make a big difference.


Attendance for the open house was registered at 833+. We say “+” as that is the number we tracked going in by those who took the time to fill out their names on the registration sheets. A few guests opt not to, and sometimes family that visits our vendors never make it to our lists either. Adding in our 55 creative vendors, volunteers, and support we can confidently say over 900 people had an incredible day filled with fun and Christmas spirit.


2015 Santa picture! Photo courtesy of Jill Jago Photography.

A highlight of our event is the big man in red himself, Santa. 185 families had their FREE family picture taken with Santa over the 6 hour day. The photographer, Jill Jago Photography, and Santa had their work cut out for them with only a ½ hr lunch break over the course of the whole day. There was a line up until about 2 pm but it moved fairly quickly, with approximately 25 families being photographed per hour. We know everyone is eager to get their pictures, and galleries will be out in about two weeks from the event.


We implemented a new kids treasure hunt this year and it was quite a hit! 141 children entered their ballots into the draw for kids prizes. We know some children didn’t complete 8 of the 15 activities to enter, but even those that only completed a few had fun and there were others forgot to hand in their ballots as we received messages after the fact. We tried to make the event family oriented with a little something for everyone. The crafts and activities were diverse, some educational, and all very engaging!


From those attended the event, they are entered for fabulous prizes from our unique vendor set. We have awarded 45 awesome gifts to the adults and 11 prizes as rewards to the kids for the treasure hunt. Additionally, leading up to the event we had 10 days of giveaways in the event, to gather excitement and say thank you for your support.

The first 100 families who registered and attended received a reusable Scholar’s Choice grab bag. Over 4500 items went into the grab bags – with some really great treats, coupons and cards for local businesses! A few were lucky to receive extra bonus gifts in their grab bags and we were able to support MADD Durham Region with awareness through material put into the bags as well.


Mom Cafe is taking no profits off of this event and we spent every dime going into it wisely. We are proud to say we supported the following charities from this event:
  • BookHunters via Grandview Kids – 301 children’s books collected and have been donated to Grandview Kids already!
  • The Denise House via Pottery Painting Party – $55 in donations collected at the event and 1 pottery painting pass sold. The next day we surprised them with an additional $50 Mom Cafe donation. A few attendees dropped off toys and snowsuits so we sent them along with the Pottery Painting crew for The Denise House.
  • Milk Bags Unlimited – we collected over 1500 milk bags to be made in waterproof sleeping mats for those in need. The charity indicates between 500 to 800 bags are needed to made a bed. We collectively have helped make 2-3 of them!
    • Watch for an event next year about learning how to weave these should you be interested! Also, please keep collecting as we will be gathering them again at our spring event.
    • Our teen volunteers also were able to count and bundle all the bags into packages of 60, which was requested by the organizers we collected for. That in itself was a huge help for the weavers!
  • Eating Well Ministries – we collected over 500 lbs of food for this charitable food organization. This will help feed many families in need within our own local community.
  • Smart Mitts Mitten Drive – we collected 84 mittens, 47 hats, 9 scarves. This will keep many children warm this winter, who otherwise might go without.
  • Autism Ontario Durham Region – we had this informative organization at our show to inform the public about their programs and sell their charity awareness items.
  • Rose of Durham – we are donating $200 to them to go towards purchasing bus tokens to get people out to the many educational and family programs they have for young families.

This show we had 11 teen volunteers out at our event. They were polite, respecting, hard workers and a tremendous help which leads to our events success. We thank them graciously for their help.


Don’t want to miss a future event? Our 2016 “Save the Dates!” events are posted here (Spring) and here (Christmas). If you are looking for a vendor from the event please click here and they are tagged in pictures of their tables from the event, which will help jog your memory if you don’t quite remember the name! We thank Love the Moment Photography for providing us with this Facebook album.

Did you attend our event? What did you think?We would love it if you put your feedback in the comments below. Your feedback is VERY MUCH appreciated. We love hearing about what you liked most and what you would change!

3rd xmas vendors

Most of the 3rd Annual Christmas Open House vendors! Santa is in there too! Photo courtesy of Jill Jago Photography.

 

4 Comments

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  • We had a great day, this was our third year attending the event and it was amazing to see how it’s grown!! We loved the new kids treasure hunt, it gave my 2.5 year old something to do and actually allowed us to stay at the event longer because he was engaged. We also loved that you had the author of Mischeivous Molly there. We purchased a book, it’s always nice when there are different options to spend money 🙂 Great work and we can’t wait until the next one!!

  • This was my first time attending the Christmas Show. I did attend the Spring show. It was a fantastic vendor show, and I loved that you make it so fun for all to go. The work you put into these is just unbelieveable and words just can’t express awesome you are to do this. You put a lot of your time and effort into making this a wonderful community event and you should be recognized for this. I love going to any of the events you set up if I am able to and I am never disappointed.

    thank you! for all that you do for our community.

  • This was my first year at the Mom Cafe event and I loved it! I loved how you supported local businesses. I loved how quiet it was for such an large amount of people. I loved interacting with the mompreneurs that I have gotten to know through your page.
    My daughter was entertained while my friend and I shopped which was a bonus. Very well organized and exciting. Great Job!!

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