BRUNSWICK, Ohio — As the summer harvest began to wane at the Brunswick Farmers Market, some new ideas cropped up to help the nonprofit Brunswick Area Historical Society in its efforts to raise funds for its nearly completed “old school” building.
With large-crowd fundraisers stymied by COVID-19, and even many of the usual summer activities curtailed this year, fundraising was painfully slow.
That’s when a new vendor at the markets this year, Stacey Asvestas, stepped in to see if she could help.
Once she heard that the historical society needed to raise money for the building that will house 200 years of Brunswick school artifacts, she jumped into action.
Actually, she skated into action.
Asvestas roller-skated around Heritage Farm from her vendor’s spot this summer, so she skated to each of the vendors at the market and asked if they would contribute to an auction. Because the market season was almost over, she suggested an online auction.
Then, she worked with Ken Chamers, the historical society’s internet guru, to start the auction of items donated by the many vendors and other members of the community.
The first one-week auction started on Monday, Oct. 5 — the day following the last farmers market. The hope is to take the auctions through to the Christmas shopping season — and maybe beyond, she said.
Although Asvestas is new to the farmers market, she is no stranger to the area; she grew up in Valley City and is a Buckeye High School graduate. She is the mother of three and has two grandchildren.
While her children were young, she bought and sold classic cars. She also worked part-time at Miss Molly’s Tea Room in Medina for 15 years. She then formed a 501c(3) nonprofit organization.
“It’s a musical ministry — helping at-risk young people gain self-esteem through performance,” she said.
Her group, Stage 1 Music Campus, has provided entertainment for a number of area events, with Asvestas getting rave reviews for her enthusiasm and organizational prowess.
She has lived in Brunswick for eight years and, as a person with lots of allergies, she discovered and sells ZA Charcoal Slurry detox for people and animals, and also has crafts and other items. She can be reached at [email protected]
As items are donated for the online auctions, she packages them, photographs them and sends descriptions to Chamers, who lists them on the charity auction site. He set up the bidding process, and there is a way either to pay online or when the items are picked up. Once someone wins, they can arrange to pick up their items at the farm.
Chamers has been a Brunswick resident for 20 years, having grown up in Parma Heights. He is a graduate of Parma High School and, while in college, he worked at a computer store at the beginning of the home computing era.
“I was really interested and started programming,” he said, “and I soon got a programming job and just kept going.”
Currently, he works for Vizion360 Consulting.
After he moved to Brunswick, he became a member of the Brunswick Alumni Community Theater. He not only acted, but was on the board, serving as treasurer.
A couple of years ago, he saw that the historical society was sorely in need of someone to help with technology, and he has been the go-to person for the society’s website, Facebook and Instagram pages.
He recently started a YouTube channel for the historical society, taping presentations this summer when the historic farmhouse tours were halted due to space restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Anyone interested in bidding on the auctions can go to charityauction.bid/brunswickhistory and find the current items in the “catalog.” Directions for bidding are available on the page.
For more information about the Brunswick Historical Society, go to brunswickhistory.com, where there are links to the Facebbook, Instagram and YouTube sites.
To donate an item for auction, email [email protected] and a member will contact you.
Read more from the Brunswick Sun.