Shopping serves significant purpose during Spring Market

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 19, 2017

 Get organized in style with collapsible dresser/travel trays, travel bags and more from Catch All, one of the new vendors at this year’s Spring Market.

Get organized in style with collapsible dresser/travel trays, travel bags and more from Catch All, one of the new vendors at this year’s Spring Market.

Photo provided by Tau Beta

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Who says shopping has to be a selfish endeavor? During Tau Beta’s 14th annual Spring Market — a fundraiser for The Children’s Center of Detroit — you can help local children and families while helping yourself to some snazzy new clothes, accessories or home décor items.

Find unique gifts for yourself and the loved ones in your life — just in time for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and graduations — from the more than 20 specialty vendors from all over the country that will be bringing merchandise to Spring Market. Everything from jewelry to clothing for men, women and children, to home accessories such as throw pillows and storage containers will be available during this event, which will take place April 27-29 at the normally private Grosse Pointe Club — better known as the “Little Club” — on Lake St. Clair, behind Grosse Pointe Memorial Church.

The event kicks off with a preview party from 6 to 9 p.m. April 27, for which tickets cost $75 in advance and $85 at the door. The preview party includes hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and a raffle with prizes such as an Ippolita earring and bangle set, a Detroit Tigers game in a luxury suite, a designer gift package from Neiman Marcus, and an original oil painting donated by artist Jane McFeely. Raffle tickets cost $25 apiece or five for $100.

Preview party attendees can start shopping early. Spring Market opens its regular shopping days from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 28 and from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 29 at a cost of $5 per person at the door. A cash-only buffet lunch will be offered during the day from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and attendees can unwind with Margaritas at the Market from 4 to 7 p.m. April 28, when a cash bar will be open.

Hundreds of local residents attend the preview party and shopping days each year. Spring Market is a fundraiser for the nonprofit The Children’s Center of Detroit, which helps children and families in need with education, resources and other services that address issues such as mental and physical health, poverty, abuse and neglect. Tau Beta members also volunteer for The Children’s Center.

“Proceeds of this fundraiser, along with our patron appeal, help us enable The Children’s Center of Detroit to make a significant impact on the lives of many children and families,” said Spring Market Committee Member Sharon Wacker via email, quoting from Tau Beta’s patron appeal letter this year. “In 2016, Tau Beta proudly presented the Children’s Center with a check in the amount of $100,000, the majority of which was generated by the annual Spring Market and patron appeal. We were also able to expand our philanthropic efforts to include a full-time media specialist at The Center for Family Literacy, within the Head Start Academy. In addition, our members work diligently on many projects at The Children’s Center:  maintaining the boutique and pantry, providing Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas gifts, supporting the Baby Basket Drive, planting the garden and so much more!”

In an email interview, Jenny Fruehauf — vice president of focus area with Tau Beta — said that Spring Market is Tau Beta’s largest fundraiser. She said Tau Beta has been working with The Children’s Center “over 10 years now, both financially and with many, many volunteer hours.”

Tau Beta, which was established in 1901, has partnered with The Children’s Center since 2004. The Children’s Center itself has a long history, having been founded in 1929 by U.S. Sen. James Couzens as one of the nation’s first child guidance clinics.

Some of this year’s popular returning Spring Market vendors include 41-year-old independent bookstore Appletree Books, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, which will have new books and gifts for kids and adults; Chicago-based Bird Dog Bay, which sells sophisticated yet playful accessories and clothing for men; W&W Home Décor of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, whose offerings include cashmere scarves, a range of jewelry and conversation-starting lamps; and Haverhill of Providence, Rhode Island, which sets natural gemstones into sterling silver jewelry pieces.

New vendors this year include Westport, Connecticut-based Catch All, which sells personalized gifts and custom linens, women’s accessories, baby gifts and elegant accents for the home; Cape Couture, of Chicago, with handmade embroidered capes and wraps; preppy pieces to wear or decorate your home using authentic patch madras from Cape Madras, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine; and classic American fashion from Elizabeth McKay, of New York City.

Spring Market is an event that many look forward to each year, but organizers never lose sight of the important mission behind this “shopportunity.”

“The money donated helps defray costs for many programs at TCC, including summer camp, the Holiday Shop, the Boutique, the Tau Beta Center for Discovery and the new Tau Beta Family Literacy Center, which will be opening at the end of June,” Fruehauf said. “Not only is The Children’s Center so appreciative of our donation, but Tau Beta is also so grateful to be able to help change the lives of so many wonderful children and adults that are served at the downtown campus. Spring Market is an easy and fun way to make this happen.”

The Grosse Pointe Club is located at 6 Berkshire Place, nestled behind Grosse Pointe Memorial Church on Lake Shore Road. For preview party tickets or more information, visit or, or email