An event that started as a way to promote local vendors in a time of pandemic has grown into something far more special.
On Saturday, friends of Melissa Duffek will move forward with Melissa’s Shabby Chic Vintage Market, an outdoor event with vendors and food.
It will be held at Melissa’s Landscaping Materials, located just off Superior Street on 10th Avenue. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Duffek began planning the sale earlier this summer as a way to support the small businesses, vendors and crafters who rely on the myriad of now-canceled craft shows and flea markets for their livelihoods.
But the event took a different turn when she suffered a rare spinal stroke 10 days ago. It left her paralyzed and facing a lengthy rehabilitation at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. While she is in good spirits and is responding to therapy it was a terrible blow to her, her family and legions of friends.
Chandi Welnetz quickly reached out to Sarah Schroepfer and the vintage market was rebranded overnight as a celebration of Melissa as well as a benefit.
“She was working to find a way to give back to the small businesses and vendors who make their living at all the shows that have been canceled,” Schroepfer explained. “Then obviously, the unexpected happened.”
An account has been established at CoVantage Credit Union and Saturday’s sale will also include a variety of bucket raffles. Tee shirts, black or pink, emblazoned with “Underestimated her. We dare you” and Team Melissa, will be sold.
The Langlade County Humane Society will host a brat fry and Schwartzendruber’s Supper Club will be serving pulled pork. The Brown Mug will be selling drinks and Chubby Cheek Ice Cream will be on the grounds from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Schroepfer said this is a first of several events planned. Many local businesses and individuals are offering up larger items, which will be auctioned virtually via Facebook at a date to be determined.
“Melissa supports anything and everything,” Schroepfer said. “We just want to give back to her.”
Participating vendors will include: Hilchik, HMB Design, Northwoods Yard Art, Vintage Addiction Interiors, Paul’s Porch Pot,
Tow Hall Trinkets, Val’s Vinyl a& Design,
Chandi’s Scentsy Biz. Fran Brown Pillow Talk, Colleen’s Crafts, Robyn’s Pampered Chef and 31 Gifts, Grandma Dottie’s Dips and Mortar & Pestle.