According to Wilmington Island Farmers' Market founder and event coordinator Debby McIncrow, the market "is truly a community market, because it has become its own neighborhood of sorts by offering a friendly and positive environment for locals to gather, meet and interact with one another."
And the group wants to help continue the spirit of this community market by raising funds to help offset the operating costs. From 6:30-10 p.m. May 12, WIFM will host an Island Party at Coach's Corner.
Lauren Ashley, public relations coordinator for the market, said the event will bring "all of the flavor and fun of the islands to Thunderbolt for one amazing night of Southern comfort food, delicious desserts, live music and more.
"Guests can expect to receive a tropical lei upon entry and a chance to bid on over 60 items from Savannah’s best stores and top organizations," she said, adding that the evening's highlight will be a concert by rock cover band Wassaw Sound.
Funds collected from the silent auction, 50/50 raffle and ticket sales will be used to offset the operating costs associated with keeping the "marketplace open for regional artisans, farmers, bakers and entrepreneurs to connect with potential customers in a family-friendly environment," Ashley said.
"... The Wilmington Island Farmers' Market is often referred to as a community market because it redefines the concept of the typical farmers or artisan market," she explained. "Each week, the market differs in its ratio of artisan to produce or food vendors, but the constant behind our market is our focus on bringing together area residents through free family fun and locally supported events. With that focus, we are able to highlight the hidden talent, budding entrepreneurs, amazing opportunities and wonderful causes that define the culture and people of Wilmington and Whitemarsh islands."
WIFM is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 3 to June 30 at Islands High School and re-opens for its fall session in September. Ashley added that the market is accepting applications for new artisan and food vendors, "especially produce and coffee vendors." And volunteers are always welcome.
While the Island Party offers a way for the community to give back to the market, Ashley said the next big event on the horizon is a fundraiser for the family of a 9-year-old girl who recently passed away after being diagnosed with leukemia.
"She truly had a beautiful spirit and kind heart, which is why the market would like to help her family with lingering hospital and unexpected funeral expenses while showing them that they have support in their own backyard."