Social Charity Club of Grand Rapids Let’s Eat, Drink & Be Charitable for the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market
On the second Thursday of each month, socially-conscious individuals of all ages get together for a fun night out with friends, meet new people, and support a local nonprofit. The events are hosted by the Social Charity Club of Grand Rapids, and this month’s gathering was held at the Ottawa Tavern where over 100 people came out to support the Fulton Street Farmers Market’s $2.6 million “Our Goodness Is Growing” campaign.
I had a chance to speak with Whitney Budden, one of the founding members of the Social Charity Club. Whitney told me that the idea for the organization sparked from a similar group in Chicago in December 2010, and in May 2011 the first event was held. Each month, she and the other founders who brought the idea to fruition—Jordan Carson, Marjorie Behm, Lauren LaTarte, and Ashley Amaya—select a nonprofit organization that will benefit and begin to spread the word via social media for a fun night out at one of Grand Rapids’ many restaurants and bars. The event also has guest hosts, who help to get the word out about that month’s event.
Those who attend pay just $10 which includes a complimentary drink and 100 percent of the night’s proceeds are directed to the nonprofit. The February event raised $2,200 for the Fulton Street Farmers Market.
Christine Helms-Maletic, the Fulton Street Farmers Market’s Development Project Manager, was at the event and told me a little bit about the campaign. So far, $2 million has been raised from over 550 donors, and construction has begun on the first phase of the project. When the market opens on May 5, visitors will see that many changes have been made to improve the 90-year-old farmers market. Covered, open-air sheds for the vendors will allow for improved access to water and electricity; there will be improved traffic flow, well as new landscaping, and the plaza will have been reconstructed with added space for seating, bike storage, and vendor overflow.
When the remaining $600,000 has been raised, the Fulton Street Farmers Market will add a 2,000 square-foot indoor facility that will house offices, restrooms, and have 12 stalls for year-round vendors. The market is a wonderful asset to the community and sees over 8,000 visitors each week. Be sure to check it out when it opens for the season on Saturday, May 5. The market is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8am-3pm each week. Head on out and support your local growers!
To learn more about the Social Charity Club of Grand Rapids, visit their website: http://www.socialcharityclub.org/
LIKE them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SocialCharityClub?sk=info
To donate to the Fulton Street Market’s ‘Our Goodness is Growing’ Campaign: http://ourgoodnessisgrowing.org/
Contributing writer: Danielle DeWitt :: Photographer: Tim Motley