“Shop for the Cause” to Raise Awareness and Funds for Haitian Women and Children



Submitted by Shop for the Cause

On Sunday, Nov. 23, the first annual Shop for the Cause: Women’s Fall Market & Expo will be held at the Best Western PLUS Lakeway Inn and Conference Center at 714 Lakeway Drive.

“Fall is a time for shopping, but it’s also a time for giving.  We wanted to do something that brings together those two ideas,” says Sommer Cronck, Event Planning Chair.  “Espwa Berlancia is an organization in Haiti that supports women through the prenatal, birth and post-natal stages.  They offer medical care, HIV testing, meals, support, and services to women and babies who otherwise have no options.  The reason we chose Espwa Berlancia is not simply because it is a wonderful organization, but because it has a local connection.”

Rhyan Buettner, the Founder and Executive Director of Espwa Berlancia, is the daughter of Bellingham residents John and Jana Buettner.  Rhyan traveled to Haiti on a mission trip in 2008 and immediately felt a connection to the country, culture and babies, leading her to return to Haiti in 2010 and make it her home.  She has spent the past four years caring for and supporting impoverished women as they go through pregnancy, childbirth and learning to care for their new babies.  She is currently training to be a midwife.

Buettner will be at the event with items handmade by Haitian artisans and as well as more information about her organization. All funds raised through event vendor fees, admission and raffles will go directly to Espwa Berlancia.

The event will also feature over twenty-five local exhibitors representing national brands including Jamberry Nails, Younique, Mary Kay, AdvoCare, Stella & Dot, 31 Gifts, Keep-Collective, LuLaRoe, doTerra, Miche Bag, Ava Anderson Non-Toxic, It Works! Global, Paparazzi Jewelry & Accessories, Wildtree, Grace Adele, Pampered Chef, Partylite, Plexus Worldwide, Origami Owl, Tupperware and Nerium AD.  There will be live music and a raffle with over $500 in prizes to be won.  The first twenty-five (25) attendees will receive gift bags, and all attendees will be given a complimentary entry into the raffle.

“Whether you are looking to get started on your holiday shopping, are interested in trying new products, want to support local small business owners or Espwa Berlancia, this event truly has something for everyone,” says Cronck.

Shop for the Cause: Women’s Fall Market & Expo will be from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Best Western PLUS Lakeway Inn and Conference Center and is open to the public.  Admission is $5 for adults, with discounts for seniors and children. Exhibitor information, tickets and more event details can be found online at shopforthecause.org.

To learn more about Espwa Berlancia, please visit espwaberlancia.org.

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