Find great gifts and give back at Spring Market fundraiser

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 23, 2019

 A committee of Tau Beta members, pictured, helps organize Spring Market, but dozens  of additional members are needed to help during the event itself.

A committee of Tau Beta members, pictured, helps organize Spring Market, but dozens of additional members are needed to help during the event itself.

Photo provided by Tau Beta

 Based in Northville,  Barbara Arnett Cashmere offers items that have been hand-painted in Nepal and come in hundreds of colors. She’s one of the vendors whose  wares will be for sale during Spring Market.

Based in Northville, Barbara Arnett Cashmere offers items that have been hand-painted in Nepal and come in hundreds of colors. She’s one of the vendors whose wares will be for sale during Spring Market.

Photo provided by Tau Beta

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Tired of porch pirates swiping your online purchases? Outwit the crooks while supporting a worthy cause by shopping at Tau Beta Association’s 16th annual Spring Market.

Scheduled for May 2-4 at the historic lakefront Grosse Pointe Club — also known as the “Little Club” — the event will feature vendors from across the country offering an array of clothing for men, women and infants; jewelry and other accessories, specialty foods; and items for the home. Money raised by this event supports the nonprofit The Children’s Center of Detroit, which helps at-risk children.

The event will kick off with a preview party from 6 to 9 p.m. May 2, for which tickets cost $75 in advance and $85 at the door. The preview party will include hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and a raffle with prizes including Meira T diamond drop earrings from Ahee Jewelers, a Taste of Detroit package including restaurant gift cards and an Uber gift card, a beauty package from Neiman Marcus, and an original oil painting donated by artist Jane McFeely.

Preview party attendees will be able to start shopping early and will receive a drink ticket for the Spring Market-tinis event from 4 to 7 p.m. May 3, which will have a cash bar and a drawing for a B. May bag donated by Girlie Girl. Spring Market has its regular shopping days from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 3 and from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 4 at a cost of $5 per person at the door; admission is free for preview party attendees.

Catherine Snell co-chairs this year’s Spring Market with Melissa Hurley, who co-chaired last year’s event. The women are also cousins.

For Snell and Hurley, this is coming full circle of sorts: Snell co-chaired the first Spring Market 16 years ago, and Hurley was on a committee for it.

The Children’s Center of Detroit assists children and families in need with education, resources and other services that address issues such as mental and physical health, poverty, abuse and neglect.

“It’s a commitment for a great cause,” Snell said. “You get caught up in the camaraderie. It’s like running a small business. … (The event is) only three days, but it takes a year (to organize).”

Vendors this year will include the women’s golf clothing maker Golftini, whimsical menswear company Bird Dog Bay, home accessories and gifts maker Crème de la Crème and microbakery Three Sisters Cheese Straws. Expect unique and classic designs in a range of prices, and merchandise perfect for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation, first communion, wedding and baby shower gifts.

“There’s a tradition of vendors that return (annually), and we try to keep it fresh with new vendors (as well),” Hurley said. “People in the metro area look forward to this show. This helps kick off summer.”

The event is Tau Beta’s largest fundraiser. Last year, Snell said, Spring Market raised about $115,000 for The Children’s Center. Tau Beta, which was established in 1901, has given more than $1.2 million to The Children’s Center since 2004, and Tau Beta members and teenage junior members volunteer countless hours there, reading to children, helping them with homework and more. 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.

“We have a lot of fun (as Tau Beta members), but at the end of the day, it’s about service. … Our focus, really, is the children,” Snell said.

Every year, each Children’s Center preschooler gets a backpack filled with school supplies from Tau Beta, she said. And, having now been working with The Children’s Center long enough to have seen some of the kids complete high school and go to college, Snell said Tau Beta continues to provide them with the tools they need to succeed.

For college-bound youths, she said they offer them dorm room essentials like a lamp and extra-long sheets, and for those getting jobs and moving into their first apartment, she said they’ve given them items like dishes and flatware.

“We’re not doing grandiose things,” Snell said. “We’re trying to do … things to make (ordinary) life possible for them.”

Between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 3 and 4, Spring Market attendees can purchase an optional buffet lunch that includes a variety of salads, sandwiches and beverages. The event gives the public a rare chance to visit the Grosse Pointe Club, a private club situated on Lake St. Clair.

“You can’t ask for a better venue,” Snell said. “The view is beautiful. We are so lucky to (be able to use the Grosse Pointe Club).”

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 www.tau beta.org or www.facebook.com/TBSpringMarket, or email spring market@taubeta.org.