Our Market looked a lot different this year from previous years, with the shopping areas cordoned off, controlled entry and exit points, lots of hand washing and sanitizing, and a mandatory mask order that went into effect in June. All of these changes meant we needed a lot more staff on the ground so we could meet the new safety requirements, and we most definitely would not have been able to pull it off without our small group of dedicated community volunteers helping. They showed up regularly and they did it with gusto. We thank them for their generosity, and we want to take a moment to spotlight two of our much-appreciated volunteers.

When Lois and Les Stahley retired in 1998, they left their then home in Marysville for a six-year RV trip around the country. When they finished with their travel adventures in 2004, they settled into their forever home in Burlington. The Stahleys have been active in several organizations in the area ever since, including as volunteer ushers at McIntyre Hall, Lois providing visitor information at the Tulip Festival office in April, and working to help families experiencing housing insecurity and hunger.

This is the second season the Stahleys have worked with us at the Market. Both Les and Lois say they love all the different conversations with visitors and vendors that are possible over the course of a day at the market, which has been particularly enjoyable given the added isolation pandemic has imposed on most of us. Their favorite items to buy at the market include honey, berries, and fresh vegetables; and now that fall is upon us, Lois will be keeping a special eye out for odd-shaped pumpkins!

As much as they have enjoyed their time with us this season, Lois and Les are both eagerly awaiting when the Market can “return to normal.” Les especially loves going around and chatting with all the vendors as he collects contributions for the weekly raffle basket, and people-watching and interacting with even more patrons. Lois would love to see the music and entertainment return too.

The Stahleys tell us they have been impressed by the professionalism of the Market, and appreciate how well-organized Market Manager Tia Entrikin is in ensuring that everything runs smoothly. We’re glad they think so, because we would be delighted to have them be part of our team for many years to come!

We also want to spend special thanks to some of our other regular volunteers this year, including Donna Colamatteo, Sage Mailhiot, Mike Rositzke, Hilary Ruiz, and Tim Wright. We could not have done it without all of your help!