Guests are being invited to spend an entire Saturday browsing shops from all over central Ohio without ever leaving Bexley at the seventh annual Shop Hop fundraiser.
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 11 at the Jeffrey Mansion, 19 shops will be set up to create a marketplace. Event chairwoman Kelly Holden Allen said there are more merchants involved than ever before, thanks to the change in date.
Traditionally, Shop Hop has been held in November and promoted holiday shopping, but because it's the busiest time of year, many shops that wanted to participate weren't able to find the time, Allen said.
For the first time this year, Homage, Thread on Grandview and The Vest Nest will join veteran Shop Hop participants that include Stella & Dot, Cute as a Button and Anne Holman Jewelry Design.
"People will still be able to shop for gifts, but it could be for Mother's Day, graduations and summer weddings," Allen said. "Spring is a great time to host this because everybody is looking for something new at this time of year, so it's a great fit."
The $5 admission fee and 5 percent of all the merchants' earnings will benefit Developmental Assets Resource Network, a local foundation that provides assistance to families in need.
Allen, who serves as a board member of DARN, said in her two previous years as chairwoman of Shop Hop, it has raised more than $25,000. That money has been used to fund summer camp trips, provide school supplies and donate bicycles to Bexley families in need.
Allen said this year's fundraising goal is $15,000.
"We have a tremendous need in the community that I don't think everybody is aware of and Shop Hop doesn't just raise funds to help those families, it raises awareness," she said. "There are so many fundraisers out there, all over for all different things, so with Shop Hop, we really wanted to focus on having fun and being an event people could look forward to all year that also helps a great community program."
A major fundraiser for the nonprofit is the Shop Hop Preview Party, which will be held Friday, May 10. From 7 to 10 p.m., the shops will be open, drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be available and DJ Danya will be playing music and encouraging guests to get on the dance floor. The Disco Fever-themed party also features raffles for items and a 50-50 raffle.
Ticket packages for the preview party range from $40 to $500. Allen said it's highly encouraged that all attendees come dressed in their finest disco attire.
"Do not be bashful," she said. "Last year when we did the hoedown, guests were calling from the event and saying to their friends, 'They were serious, everybody is dressed up.'
" It's always a good time and come 11 p.m., we always have to kick people out because no one wants to leave."
For more information on Shop Hop and to purchase tickets, visit bexleyshophop.com.