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!
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.
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!
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.
- 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.
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!