Serene Karplus, Nederland. On my first day working in Nederland fifteen years ago, I sold Frozen Dead Guy Days T-Shirts at the Holiday Mountain Market. As the newly hired Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, its then-VP, Teresa Warren, introduced me to the community from our table just inside the doors of the Community Center. We set up a table at the market every year for our celebratory reveal of the new Brent Warren T-shirt and poster designs.
Four years later, I left the Chamber for the nonprofit Nederland Area Seniors. When Frank Lutz hired me, he said, “We need you to run the office, but we, the seniors, manage the events.” Lists of vendors and purchases in Betty Hunt’s handwriting still grace our historical files. Then Betty moved away. The roof caved in (literally, but that’s another story), and the market moved to the Middle School gym. Jan Ferrill stepped up to organize it and I was invited as a volunteer performer playing horn duet Christmas carols for the music stage organized by Laura Fisher. Barb Hardt ran a silent auction in the hallway to benefit the school. Then Jan moved away.
I was the one person left on the playing field and I picked up the ball and ran towards the goalposts, with only observed clues about the rules of the game. We moved back to the Community Center. One of our craft vendors said, “If you ever need help, call me.” Margaret May helped organize the next year and added a tiny tabletop silent auction in the empty lobby outside the NAS office. Now 60 artisans fill every square inch of the gym, café room, dance studio, lobby, and hallway, with crafters and nonprofit/school groups squeezing in card tables in every nook. The auction, representing local businesses, has grown to 250 items crammed into 300 square feet of space. Performers volunteer every open hour of the market.
The event has grown to be one of Nederland’s biggest and best-loved indoor events of the year, supporting local artisans, showcasing musicians, dancers and teachers, and offering an opportunity to visit with friends and neighbors we just don’t see often enough. Hundreds of hours are invested in organizing and hosting this event that truly belongs to the entire community. As the event host, Nederland Area Seniors and its Chief Cat Herder, Yours Truly, would like to thank everyone who makes this big holiday celebration possible:
Thank you to the Town of Nederland for the space, and Citywide Banks for sponsoring our performance stage sound system. Nederland Food Pantry loaned carts for our vendors to haul in heavy goods. Dawn Baumhover, Carole Handler, and Eman decorated, repaired, cleaned, and prepared the Community Center for us. Gunda Starkey pounded pavements, phones, and keyboards to collect silent auction items and manage the display. Jim Elder once again planned, shopped, schlepped, and served our Market Café and visited local business owners for auction items while Marty Cheshes wrote to businesses for more. Annemarie Fruth managed our Santa photos with our newly natural- bearded Al Meyer in the starring role, assisted by photographer Marlyn Cheshes and elf Betty Porter. Chris Bleske rented, set up, and ran the sound equipment for thirteen hours of performances. Bob Behrens and Bob Reeser designed, built, donated, and installed eight new road signs for us. Margaret Freeman built and fed our new Holiday Mountain Market facebook page. Chastity Lamb set up and cleaned up after the huge party, as she does so faithfully all year at our lunches, brunches, breakfasts and dinners.
Over sixty artisans/crafters and their families set up and decorated four thousand square feet of space to create a festive holiday mood. About one hundred people transformed the tiny Performance Stage into a wonderland of inspirational sights and sounds, counting not only the dozens of dancers, choir members, students, teachers, and top-notch musicians, but also all the parents who brought the younger performers and stayed to watch (and shop, thank you!). We can’t name every performing individual, but would like to thank our contacts for their part in organizing their group’s performance: Angela DelSanter, Mike & Bonnie Coats, Desmond Blake, Evan Cantor/Steve Ellis, Ray Smith/Carrie Minor, Alan & Jenee Tiefenbach, Gea Franklin, Lise Friisbastaad, Burt Rashbaum, Barron Beshoar (and Chad Granoff), Carolyn Peterson, Ted & Nina Zychlinski, and Liz Evans.
Volunteers wearing multiple hats showed up by the dozens to pull off everything from signs and setup to meeting auction winners for pickup. Thank you to the following folks for all your time and energy: Joseph Atwood, Carole Cardon, Marlyn & Marty Cheshes, Mary Coan, Roger & Karen Cornell, Jim Disinger, Barbara & Jerry Donahue, Jim Elder, Paula Farrell, David & Margaret Freeman, Deb Gager, Terry & Marilyn Goyer, Jim Guertin, Carole Handler, Karen, Patty Hunter, Michele Hurliman, Justine Irwin, Beltran Jaramillo, Lee Kennedy, Judy MacDougall, Jane Mayo, Kathy Meyers, John Ooyen, Lois Ott, Jeannie & Matt Reynolds, Betty & Dale Porter, Randy Sachter, Maureen Sherman, Kaitlin Silbaugh, Lucy Stroock, and Bette Ventrella.
Big hugs to the hundreds of people involved in producing a fabulous event enjoyed by hundreds more in our community! Thank you all!
All adults are welcome at all Mountain MidLife and Nederland Area Seniors events, attended mostly by folks over age 50. Everyone is invited to all meals at the Nederland Community Center. Please call two days ahead for lunch reservations (a week ahead for dinners and breakfasts if possible) to 303-258-0799. Missed the deadline? Call anyway. Costs listed show first the over-age-60 requested anonymous contribution, then the under-age-60. Please note that all over age 60 are welcome regardless of ability to contribute financially.