Hannah’s Hope Welcomes Supportive Community to 9th Annual Craft and Vendor Fair

Hannah’s Hope Welcomes Supportive Community to 9th Annual Craft and Vendor Fair

On Saturday morning, Christmas shopping began early at Portage High School as members of the community enjoyed shopping from 120 local vendors all while supporting a great cause: Hannah’s Hope. There was something for everyone with diverse booths for shoppers and enjoyable activities, like a gingerbread house building contest for kids. It was beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, with a strong sense of community and a ton of fun.

Hannah’s Hope is a nonprofit that benefits children in Northwest Indiana. The charity is named for Hannah Martinez who, during her short life, was severely developmentally delayed. Hannah passed away in 2012, but her legacy continues to live on through her charity.

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Hannah’s mother and co-founder of Hannah’s Hope, Mary Martinez, said that Hannah’s Hope raises money for kids with special needs and provide essential equipment. But the charity’s reach does not end there.

“We built an all-inclusive playground in Portage and do other community projects as they come up, like sleds for the Valparaiso ice skating rink,” Martinez said.

These important contributions provided by Hannah’s Hope are made possible with events like the Craft and Vendor Fair with the help of the entire community.

“We are so thankful for all for all the help,” Martinez said. “The Portage High School Cheerleaders came at 6 a.m. to help vendors set up and the ROTC is coming for tear down. We’d also like to thank Albanese Candy Factory, who donated all the candy for the gingerbread houses.”

What started as a little fair with 40 booths, the Craft and Vendor Fair has grown into a popular event that thousands of people visit each year. Saturday marked the 9th year of the fair and every year, people keep coming back. Marianne Mummey, a guest at the fair, explained that the event is wonderful. She first came last year and decided to make it a tradition

“There are a lot of good people here, everyone is so friendly,” Mummey said. “There are lots of vendors and lots of stuff to buy.”

For Mummey, the most important reason she visits is to support Hannah’s Hope. She relayed how important the charity is and she is happy to help such a worthy cause.

“I have a son, if anything ever happened to him, I’d want help, too.”

Kathy Adair, long time Hannah’s Hope volunteer and vendor, said that Hannah’s Hope is vital for families in need.

“There is such a need for it,” said Adair. “Even when you have insurance, it might not cover all the equipment.”

Adair acknowledged how supportive everyone is of the charity's efforts. The community makes it possible for Hannah’s Hope to meet its mission every day and for events and fundraisers like the Craft and Vendor Fair to flourish. For more information about Hannah’s Hope, please visit http://www.hannahshope.org/index.php.