Bobbi Kundly (second from left) hugs Rene Donohue during the third annual holiday open house for Opportunity Enterprises’ Simply Amazing Market on Dec. 1, 2012, in Valparaiso, Ind. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
If you go
† The Simply Amazing Market is on the north side of Opportunity Enterprises’ main facility at 2801 Evans Ave. in Valparaiso.
† Holiday store hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday though Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
† For more information about the Simply Amazing Market, visit www.simplyamazingtreats.com or call 464-9621, Ext. 289.
Updated: January 12, 2013 6:08AM
Sweet smells, sweet samples and Santa Claus greeted visitors to Opportunity Enterprises’ Simply Amazing Market in Valparaiso, which recently conducted its third annual holiday open house.
Held in tandem with the open house was a “holiday gift extravaganza,” offering home and beauty products and décor. Ten percent of the proceeds went back to Opportunity Enterprises, which provides services to people with disabilities.
Cathy and Ed Hadt of Hobart stopped by the market for the first time. They were drawn in by the smell of freshly made caramel corn.
“The peppermint fudge was wonderful,” Cathy said after trying a sample. She also did some shopping in the gift market.
The open house draws about 500 people, said Allison Thomas, OE’s marketing and communication specialist. The gift market had 13 vendors this year, about double from last year, and again involved OE employees with home-based businesses or others associated with the agency.
That included OE event specialist Alyse Kominakis, who, with her mother and several family members, sold handmade dishcloths, potholders, ornaments and wheelchair bags.
“We’ve never done a craft fair before, but we love crafting,” Kominakis said, adding they were participating because a portion of their proceeds would go back to OE.
OE families also supported the event. Back in the market, Bob and Melissa Beilfuss of Chesterton shopped for popcorn and other goodies with their son, Mike.
Mike and his brother, Brian, receive services from the agency.
“We buy gifts and we buy for ourselves,” Melissa said, adding they shop at the market all year. “We try to support them as much as possible because we know what they try to do.”