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Monday, November 21, 2016

Shop Local, Give Back, Win Prizes at Gifting Back Bazaar, Dec 3

With the holidays come the bazaars, craft shows and pop-up markets. But December 3rd's Gifting Back Bazaar, the brainchild of Barbara Thomas and presented by Fort Thomas Central, is different. Each of the 30 different exhibitors will donate 10 percent of their sales to a charity of their choice, and has donated a prize for lucky attendees.

So not only can you cross off items on your holiday shopping list, but you can stay local and support a wide range of charities that each have personal meaning to the sellers, all who happen to be friends and neighbors.
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Take, for example, Casey Gesenhues, a Woodfill Elementary teacher who will be selling Rodan + Fields skincare products. Her charity of choice? Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

"My husband and I lost our 17-day-old son, Charlie, to a mitochondrial genetic disorder," Gesenhues says.

"We became a part of the Cincinnati Children's hospital 'family' so to speak and will never forget the generosity they showed us while we were there. They could have just done their job and gone home each evening but they didn't. They stayed hours and sometimes days longer than their typical shift to wait for answers to share with us, they left us their phone numbers on our napkins with notes promising Chipotle if we needed it, they sat with us while we prayed for a miracle and read him some of our favorite children's books, they brought us water and Gatorade when they knew we weren't eating, and most importantly they loved our boy something fierce. We could never repay them for everything they did but we want them to know that we are forever grateful. We will always support them and the work they do for families all over the world. It's the least we can do."

Gesenhues says Rodan + Fields has enabled them to give regularly because it's above and beyond their typical paycheck. "We love that we can do a small thing that hopefully impacts so many," she says.

These 30 boutiques, small businesses and local artisans are supporting these 30 charities.

The 30 boutiques, small businesses and artisan exhibitors will offer one-of-a-kind gift items, holiday decorations, specialty food items, apparel, fashion accessories, baby/kid gifts, local art, stained glass, pottery, terrariums and more.

Admission is $5 (children are free), and 20 percent of the admission sales will be donated to Northern Kentucky Hates Heroin (NKYHH).

"We are very honored, especially because this is our hometown, it's our family, it's our neighborhood," says Holly Specht, who lost her son, Nicholas, to an accidental heroin overdose and, as a result, started NKYHH with her family. "We take it as a huge compliment that they entrust how we're spending donations. That's very important to our family. We don't take that lightly at all—we're honored and we want to make them proud." 

Fort Thomas resident Diane Beach will be offering products from Arbonne's Holiday 2016 line, which include the Pamper Mint Foot set (foot scrub, soothing lotion, red fuzzy socks), a variety of bath and shower gels and cosmetics "for a striking evening look for festive nights out," Beach says. Beach also plan to offer some "Give the Gift of Health" items from Arbonne's sports nutrition line for athletes. "The premier product I will be featuring and using to demo at the Bazaar is the new Genius Ultra Device—the first at-home ultrasound device that amps up our anti-aging line products, and diminishes uneven skin texture and fine lines," she says.

Beach is supporting the League for Animal Welfare. "I was involved as a volunteer and on the Board of Directors for many years prior to the start of my family," she says. "We've adopted many of our animals from there through the years, and it holds a special place in our hearts." 

Fort Thomas City Council Member Lisa Kelly, owner of Dirty Hairy's Self and Full Service Dog Spa and partner with Susan Cramer of Pet Wants Fort Thomas, will be selling all natural treats, handmade pet items, gift baskets, gift certificates, and house-made balms, salves and sprays. "We will also be handing out free 1-pound samples of our cat and dog foods," she says.

Kelly and Cramer chose the Stray Animal Adoption program (SAAP) as their charity. "We have been involved with SAAP for many years," Kelly says. "Even as a kid, I was always bringing home injured birds, homeless kittens and stray dogs. SAAP has saved well over 4,000 lives last year and they need donations for medical expenses, spay and neutering and food in order to keep saving more. This is an amazing group of volunteers and they have an immeasurable passion for animals in need. Going above and beyond is an understatement." 

In addition to knowing that a portion of sales are going to charities with lots of personal meaning behind them, attendees can register upon arrival for a chance to win one of 30 prizes donated by the exhibitors. These include gourmet gift baskets, jewelry, accessories, home decor items, fitness classes, skincare packages, candles, books, soaps and more.

The Event Center will be decorated with strung garden lights, evergreens and poinsettias, courtesy of Accent on Cincinnati. Light appetizers and beverages will be available for purchase, and Johnny Delagrange will perform live from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Gifting Back Bazaar Details: 
When: December 3, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Highlander Event Center, 90 Alexander Pike, Fort Thomas.
Admission: $5, with 20 percent going to NKYHH. Children are free.
For more information, go here.

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