Small Business Saturday vendor fair benefits Cancer Services

Small Business Saturday vendor fair benefits Cancer Services
November 30
07:00 2017

Local entrepreneurs sold their wares at a vendor fair that benefited Cancer Services on Small Business Saturday. 

The Debbie Burchett Endowment Fund held the vendor fair in the Bolton Home and Garden Building at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds. It’s one of several events including 5k runs, golf tournaments and other vendors fairs the Fund holds to raise money for Cancer Services, which provides patient advocacy, support groups, wellness classes and other resources to cancer patients.

The fund is named after the late Debbie Burchett, who passed away in 2000 from cancer. She was both helped by Cancer Services and volunteered there.

“Cancer services was so important to her,” said the Fund’s Megan Burchett of her mother-in-law.

Among the more than 30 local vendors there, some had storefronts like Camel City Goods, which sold Winston-Salem labeled apparel, and It’s Beauty: Shades of Color, a downtown boutique that was selling shea butter and rice bags at the event. Most vendors there simply sold their wares online, by word of mouth or at other vendor fairs. 

Sara Jensen, set up her Family Ties booth, knowing her vendor fee would go to help Cancer Services. It was “pay what you can” for her custom bowties, head wraps, adventure bags and stuffed monsters. She said her family has made an annual tradition to adopt a family in need around the holidays and any sales she made would go toward supporting them.

“We’ve been so blessed, we just want to pass it on,” said Jensen.

For some vendors, contributing to Cancer Services was personal, since they too have been helped by the nonprofit. Dorothy Sweet, owner of Sweet Media, had what she hoped was her final cancer-related surgery earlier this month. It’s her seventh surgery in less than six years.

“I’m hopeful this is the last one, if not, I know Cancer Services will be there,” she said.

Sweet was selling her artistic creations, including colorful working clocks that she created from records. The patterns on the records were created through acrylic pouring, or pouring paint on it and then moving the record to let it flow into different patterns. The paint that dripped off during this process was absorbed by paper below that she used for bookmarks and magnets.

“I started piddling with the painting and stuff as a way to escape from cancer treatments and all that,” she said.

It’s been two years since the surgery that made Dawn Johnson cancer-free. She works full-time at Wells Fargo, but in her spare time creates custom T-shirts and gifts as owner of Spiritually Made Apparel & Gift Solutions. Her booth was covered in bejeweled shirts, including many giving a message of hope and support to those with cancer.  She also had custom Christmas ornaments, cups and gift baskets. She said surviving cancer strengthened her faith and gave her new motivation to live life to its fullest.

“I just had a will to live in a future where I wanted to do more,” said Johnson.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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