Carrying on a family tradition at the Lioness market

·3 min read

The St. Davids Lioness market was a return to normal for NOTL vendors and presented a way for Kandis Klipich to carry on a family tradition in honour of her recently deceased grandmother.

“This is kind of in memory of her because she taught me how to sew,” Klipich said at the market on Saturday.

Her grandmother, Gladys Davidson, and her grandfather were longtime members of the St. Davids Lions Club.

Gladys was a very active member of the Lions community and participated in many of the markets herself, selling baked goods, Klipich said.

Participating in the market thus had the dual meaning of allowing her to connect with her grandmother through their mutual sewing abilities and by standing in the very place and fulfilling the very role Gladys had for years, she said.

Though Gladys taught her to sew when she was a child, Klipich said she hadn’t necessarily been keeping up with it over the years.

“Really, what kind of started it off again was I had to get surgery on my legs so I was off for a couple of weeks. I needed to do something or else I might have gone crazy,” she said.

“So I thought of my grandmother and started (sewing again) and here we are.”

Together with her mother Kathy Klipich, they had a table set up among some 15 other vendors inside the St. Davids Lions Club on Saturday.

She was selling hand-knitted hair scrunchies and pet bandanas.

Though the pet bandana industry may seem built around canines, Klipich said her sales experience has taught her otherwise.

“People buy them for their rabbits, their cats — it’s not just for dogs,” she said.

Klipich’s mother was selling homemade cards for any number of special occasions.

Thanks to her parents' involvement in the club, Kathy Klipich said she and her daughter had been volunteering with the Lions for years but were happy to take a place in the market this year.

There were tables of custom charcuterie boards and cutting boards, baked goods, hand-knitted stuffed animals and polished gemstones, among others.

Dianne Pewer led the organizing initiative to hold the market. She said she hoped the market's return signalled the return of regular fundraising projects for the Lions Club.

“It’s just trying to get back into it. There are so many organizations that need funding so desperately and to be able to start (raising money) again, it’s like, phew, wow. It’s a relief,” she said.

The larger business community was crucial to making the market a success, Pewer said.

Before the pandemic hit and cancelled the previous year's market, the Lions Club had received a myriad of gift certificates from Niagara businesses for the market’s draw.

Pewer was worried the gift certificates wouldn’t be honoured since it had been almost two years since some were donated.

“But we called everybody and they said, ‘Yep, go right ahead,’ ” she said.

Some of the participating businesses were Corks Wine Bar and Eatery, Casa Mia, Sentineal Carriages and National Helicopters.

Pewer said the club hopes to have another Lioness market in May to one-up the November market.

“We want to have tents and have music outside. Go bigger and go crazy,” she said with a laugh.

Area MP Wayne Gates was at the market investigating the stuffed animal wares.

“I’ll probably get the Toronto Maple Leafs teddy bear, unless they have a Buffalo Sabres one,” Gates said.

Gates is recovering from a serious motor vehicle collision that occurred a few weeks ago.

“A couple more weeks and I’ll be fine,” Gates said.

He said his ribs are still hurting but that didn’t matter much considering he “could have been dead.”

Gates ended up walking away with the Maple Leafs teddy bear, hand-made by Jessie Shackmann.

Evan Saunders, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Lake Report

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