Vancouver Farmers Market holds fundraiser for landslide victims

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Rain or shine, there's one single item that the Vancouver Farmers Market can always count on to bring in money.

It's not fruit or vegetables and certainly not organic: it's parking fees.

The market's organizers decided to donate all the parking fees that it collects this weekend to the Mt. Rainier Chapter of the American Red Cross, which is providing supplies, shelter and health services to Oso landslide victims and their families.

It could add up to $5,000 Saturday and Sunday, according to Steven Cronbaugh, the market's treasurer who also owns Columbia River Coffee Co.

"We all will come a point in our lives when we are in need. Here's some people that are in need," said Steven, who's operated the market's coffee stand for 20 years.

"Every little bit helps," he said, which is also why he decided to donate the money he collects in tips on Saturday as well.

It may only be $20, but it's a start, he said.

Two other vendors also said they would donate a portion of their sales.

Sunrise Kolache, a small bakery, and Klickitat Canyon Winery will each donate $40 as well, the same as their fee to the market.

"I've always maintained it's about the people, not the products," said Tim Dyeson, who bakes and sells Eastern European pastries called kolaches.

"We're blessed," he said. "The people in Oso are hurting."

It's one community's gift to another community, which could certainly use something sweet right about now.