The second annual Mingle at the Marketplace will be open for business at the former location of The Copper Pig restaurant in Dunwoody Village Shopping Center Friday through Sunday.
The merchandise available for perusal and purchase — from vintage wares to chocolate to Elvis memorabilia — derive from community donations and participating vendors. Proceeds will benefit host the Georgia Center for Humane Education.
“It’s going to be quite a combination of new, gently used and Elvis,” said Georgia Center co-founder Debra Berger. “We want this market to be a fundraiser, a fun raiser and a friend raiser.”
Berger’s fledgling organization is designed to serve as a central resource for humane education and outreach. Staff there work in concert with local and national animal protection organizations to facilitate accessibility to programming for schools and other youth-oriented venues.
Citing a correlation between violent behaviors exhibited in — the reported rise of bullying, for example — and outside the species have spurred activist outfits like Georgia Center into action to stem the tide via a proactive approach.
“There’s such a strong connection between human violence and animal cruelty,” said Berger. “Humane education programs aim to cultivate compassion in children that will reach into other areas of their lives.”
Georgia Center’s message of kindness and empathy toward humans and non-humans alike has thus far wended its way into DeKalb venues, like Oak Cliff Traditional Theme School in Doraville and Camp Isidore Altman in Dunwoody.
Organizers are looking to do more of the same elsewhere — provided they top or surpass the success of last year’s market, which earned enough money to pay the Georgia Center’s expenses until the end of the year.
With an even more eclectic mix of unique new, recycled and resale items available this time around, eclipsing last year’s numbers appears to be a reachable goal.
“In the end, it benefits the children and animals of Georgia,” said Berger. “We’ve adopted a quote [from Bradley Millar] that’s so very true … ‘Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.’”
Even “The King” himself, a staunch animal lover, is — posthumously — getting in on the act. In honor of the 35th anniversary of the iconic singer and actor’s death, the marketplace will also serve as the kickoff event of the Elvis Presley “Don’t Be Cruel” campaign.
The Marketplace will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.