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May 22 'Crafters Care' Event to Benefit Food Pantry of North Branford

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"Crafters Care: An Event to Stock the Food Pantry of North Branford" will be held in the field beside Doody's Inn, 465 Foxon Road, North Branford, Saturday, May 22, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free admission. Image Courtesy Kim Mucha)

On Saturday, May 22, Kim Mucha will keep the ball rolling on her efforts to assist her community, and her community of crafters, when Crafters Care: An Event to Stock the Food Pantry of North Branford (FPNB) comes to town. The free admission event will fill the field beside Doody's Inn, 465 Foxon Road in North Branford, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Mucha is bringing together 50 unique, quality artisans of handcrafted goods for the day, which will also provide a fair atmosphere with kids' face-painting and treats available for purchase from a food truck specializing in cookies.

With so many crafts fairs being cancelled over the past year due to COVID-19, all of the event artisans are eager to get back to the business of sharing their extraordinary wares in person, combined with helping to support their host community, said Mucha.

"They're from all over Connecticut -- they're from Bristol, they're from Middletown -- they're from everywhere," said Mucha of the crafters. "Once I put a call out to vendors on our community craft sites, the response I got was overwhelming; because they thought it was such an amazing thing to do, to not only to have the craft fair, but to do something to give back to the community."

To assist FPNB, all shoppers are asked to bring food donations; and they'll want to bring more than one. For every item of food donated, shoppers will get a free raffle ticket to enter to win great gift baskets among dozens of product baskets on display.

"So if you bring 10 food items to donate, you'll get 10 raffle tickets," said Mucha.

Mucha is gathering the prize baskets as donations given by the event's vendors as well as from residents who just want to help a great cause, said Mucha.

"All the vendors are donating baskets; and once I started talking about this, people in town started dropping off baskets at the house. It's absolutely amazing," said Mucha, a Northford resident.

Since April, Mucha has also been talking up the event's Megabasket Raffle on social media and the event page Crafters Care: An Event to Stock the Food Pantry of North Branford, where Megabasket Raffle tickets, $5, are on sale now. One hundred percent of every ticket sold to be donated to FPNB. One grand prize winner selected at random will take away the Megabasket, filled with $1,500 in gift cards and services donated by many North Branford restaurants and businesses in response to Mucha's request for contributions.

One grand prize winner selected at random will take away the Megabasket,  filled with $1,500 in gift cards and services donated by many North Branford restaurants and businesses in response to Mucha's request for contributions.

"I started asking for gift cards in February. I just cold-called or walked in and asked them if they would help, and they all did something," said Mucha.

Suffice it to say, the Megabasket is a hit and will bring a significant donation to FPNB.

"On April 1, I started selling the Megabasket tickets on Facebook, and we've already sold $2,700 in tickets," said Mucha.

Helping Others

Mucha's own craft business, Second Time Around, recycles wood pallets into home accents, functional pieces, and personalized gifts. Like many artisans, Mucha built up a following by showing her work as a vendor at events, but she also built a growing online following through her business Facebook page. In 2020, after the pandemic closed down crafts fairs, Mucha took to social media to organize a small, in-person craft fair in Branford. The September event drew hundreds of masked and social-distance practicing shoppers to visit the tables of 15 craft businesses on display (the news was also shared in a 2020 Zip06/The Sound "Person of the Week" story featuring Mucha).

That November, with about a dozen of her crafter friends, she held another event in her driveway – this time with the idea of also supporting FPNB. Mucha organized her first  "Megabasket" raffle with about $900 in donated gifts, and raised $2,000 for FPNB.  Additionally, all the vendors donated baskets of their product, which were raffled off to shoppers who donated food, leading to Mucha collecting over 2,000 pounds of food donations for FPNB.

"It was a very busy, very overwhelming day," said Mucha, who quickly regrouped and began planning for the May 22 event.

"People always say, 'I wish I could do more.' This is my way of doing more," she said.

Crafters Care: An Event to Stock the Food Pantry of North Branford will be held in the field beside Doody's Inn, 465 Foxon Road, North Branford, Saturday, May 22, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Rain Date: Sunday, May 23, same location and times (decisions regarding weather will be posted at Crafters Care: An Event to Stock the Food Pantry of North Branford on Facebook). To learn more about Food Pantry of North Branford, visit https://www.foodpantrynb.org/ or find them on Facebook (@FoodPantryNB).

 


Pam Johnson covers news for Branford and North Branford for Zip06. Email Pam at p.johnson@shorepublishing.com.

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