Author Archives: Suzanne Hull

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Taysia Blue Rescue

Taysia Blue Rescue is back for a second straight year, and we can’t wait to see how they plan to deck their tree!

“We participate in the CDM auction as a fun event for our volunteers to work together to be creative and decorate the tree (a couple of our volunteers talk about this throughout the year to get theme ideas),” explains representative Erica Hellmich. “By being a part of this, Taysia Blue Rescue is being exposed to a wide audience that may not otherwise hear about us. Our rescue is a husky and malamute breed specific rescue and what is better than cold, Christmas and northern breed dogs?”

Taysia Blue Husky and Malamute Rescue is a 100% volunteer and foster based organization that pulls dogs from shelters where they are at risk of being euthanized and also takes on Huskies and Malamutes that have medical issues such as Heartworm and orthopedic problems.

The Silent Auction funds for this tree will allow the Rescue to continue to take in dogs that come with expensive medical needs such as surgeries and Heartworm treatment.

If you are interested in learning more about Taysia Blue Rescue, please visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: The Scottish Heritage Society

The Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction is excited to have the Scottish Heritage Society return as a two-year participant. They will be decking their tree with white lights, tartan ribbon, balls, bells, white Westie Scotty Dogs, and empty mini-whiskey bottles.

The Central Iowa chapter of the Scottish Heritage Society of Iowa was formed in 1975 by the children and grandchildren of members of two organizations prominent in the early days of Des Moines history – the “Robert Burns Club” and the “St. Andrews Society”.

The Society enjoys participating in the Silent Auction as a means to promote their group to a broader audience. They will use the funds to help pay for their annual celebration, Burns Night.

For more information on the Scottish Heritage Society, please visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Pickle Creek Herbs | #CDM2019 Vendor

Tell us about your business

Hello from Pickle Creek! We are a small family farm in Pleasant Plain, Iowa. We grow herbs, fruits, garlic, and peppers that we use to create infused olive oils and vinegars, soaps, salves, and balms. We make everything by hand in small batches using our own original recipes. With Pickle Creek infusions, you can bring all the life, spice, and flavor of the summer garden to your kitchen and home.

What inspired you to get involved as a vendor at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2019

It’s an awesome and unique experience! We first heard about Christkindlmarket from friends, and it jumped out as something special—we hadn’t seen anything quite like it in Iowa. That was back in 2016, and we’ve been participating ever since. The visitors, volunteers, and other vendors are so cheerful, festive, and fun!

What products will you be selling at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2019 and why did you choose them?

To stay in the spirit of Christkindlmarket, we’ll be selling only our handmade products that we create using our own herbs and recipes. We’ll especially be featuring holiday gift boxes, baskets, and bags in traditional holiday colors.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Christkindlmarket is not just shopping and eating—it’s an experience unlike anything else in Iowa. It’s especially charming when the lights start to shine, a cup of Glühwein warms the fingers, and the cheer in the air evokes the Christmas magic you loved as a child. It will definitely put you in the holiday spirit!

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: The Pet Project Midwest

The Pet Project Midwest has returned for their second year decorating a tree. The organization began in 2009 with the goal of keeping pets in their loving homes and out of shelters.

“The Pet Project Midwest’s mission is to make the world a better place through kindness to animals. Our primary goal is to keep animals in their homes and out of shelters,” explains representative, Kim Hanlon. “Participating in the [Silent Auction] allows us to spread our mission in a unique and festive way.”

“The funds [from the auction] will help us expand our services to our most vulnerable clients currently receiving assistance through our Paws For Life Program,” shares Hanlon. “The program helps the disabled and elderly keep their pets fed and healthy. Many times these folks will use their limited resources to feed their beloved pets instead of the medication and supplies they need. By helping with pet food and supplies, we can remove that burden.”

The Pet Project Midwest will be creating “A gift to the birds” tree for market goers to bid on. The winning bidder will be able to place this tree in their yard, unwrap the “ornaments” and watch the birds feast on a cold winter day.

For more information on The Pet Project Midwest, please visit their website..thepetprojectmidwest.org

BySuzanne Hull

Bratwurst Imbiß am Markt

Bratwurst Imbiss am Markt (Brat stand at the market) run by Des Moines European Heritage Association (DMEHA) returns to the market! DMEHA is the non-profit responsible for the production of Christkindlamarket Des Moines.

Enjoy a 1/4 lb, coarse-ground, German–style pork bratwurst grilled to perfection.

Usinger’s produces many kinds of sausages and meats, in many cases using traditional 19th-century recipes provided by its founder, Fred Usinger of Wehen, Germany. The family-owned company, now in it’s fourth generation, continues to live its slogan of providing “America’s Finest Sausage”.

Offering: Usinger’s Bratwurst – $5, bottled water – $1

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Mosaic in Central Iowa

Mosaic in Central Iowa is another new addition to our 4th annual Silent Auction.

“The people we support in Central Iowa desire and deserve closer ties to the community and new opportunities for social and cultural activities,” explains Janet Fisher, Mosaic representative. “Our participation in the silent auction empowers the people we support to make new connections and allows us to introduce Mosaic’s mission to community members.”

Mosaic was formed in 2003 from the consolidation of two Nebraska-born Lutheran ministries dedicated to the needs of people with disabilities. It is their mission to relentlessly pursue opportunities to empower people.

“Mosaic’s funding primarily comes from Medicaid, but Medicaid funding only meets the most basic needs for people,” clarifies Fisher. “Funds from the silent auction will allow Mosaic to stand in the gap, continue providing truly personalized services and empower people to live their best life, whatever that looks like to them.”

To support this mission and bid on their tree, visit Christkindlmarket Des Moines at Principal Park December 6th-8th and preview night December 5th.

For more information about Mosaic in Central Iowa, please visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Veterans in Agriculture

We are excited to welcome back Veterans in Agriculture (VIA) to our Silent Auction. They have helped beautify Christkindlmarket Des Moines every year representing their organization with gorgeous trees. This years’ theme is “Red, White, and Blue.”

“After serving throughout the world, our nation’s military is always happy to return to the Red, White, and Blue.  This year’s tree will be all decked out in those colors and not only are these decorations for Christmas, but many can be used to celebrate other national holidays, like the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, Memorial Day and others,” explains Beth Grabau, VIA Executive Director.

Veterans in Agriculture are farmers, veterans, agri-business professional, educators, and other service providers dedicated to empowering veterans to thrive in Iowa agriculture. They provide three main programs/resources to help fulfill their mission statement: The Veterans in Agriculture Network, VIA Resource Guide, Rural America Hiring Heroes, and Find a Farmer Veteran.

“The Silent Auction is a great and unique opportunity for people to learn about our organization. We are able to be in front of an audience that may not otherwise hear about. It is also great fun!” shares Grabau about why VIA continues to participate in the CDM Silent Auction. “Where else can you decorate a tree that represents an aspect of the organization. And what a great way to get in the holiday spirit than to start it by decorating a tree.”

Funds earned with the purchase of this tree will be used to support the services that are provided to veterans as well as active and retired military members. 

For more information on Veterans in Agriculture, please visit their website.www.veteransinagriculture.org

BySuzanne Hull

European Cultural Heritage “Meet-Up”

Enjoy the fellowship of a diverse group of European Cultural Heritage Organizations for a “Meet-Up” at Christkindlmarket Des Moines. Meet in Yuletide Hall (an outdoor, forced-air heated entertainment tent) as you sip on Glühwein, enjoy a seasonal craft beer or nosh on bratwurst.

Represent your European Cultural Heritage Organization to the Des Moines community with your traditional attire, beer steins, and Glühwein mugs as you get to know other cultural heritage organizations in Central Iowa.


Des Moines European Heritage Association connects Iowans with European traditions, language education and cultural experiences; and it provides resources and tools to other cultural heritage organizations.

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BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: DMEHA Samstagsschule

The Des Moines European Heritage Association (DMEHA) Samstagsschule – German for Kinder will be making their second appearance at the Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction.

Offering immersive German classes to preschool age through 9th grade, from beginners to heritage speakers, DMEHA Samstagsschule strives to provide opportunities for kids to have fun while learning German language and culture.

“As part of our training, we like to introduce our students to German traditions. With our contribution to the CDM Silent Auction, we are excited to be part of Christkindlmarket Des Moines,” explains representative Katrin Nayak. “We would like to purchase additional interactive German language classroom materials, especially for our older students, 5th through 9th grade with the Silent Auction proceeds. Ensuring our students have access to a variety of interesting and age appropriate materials.”

Please visit the DMEHA Samstagsschule- German for Kinder for more information on classes, times, and location.

BySuzanne Hull

Table 20 Creativity | Silver Sponsor

We’re excited to be working with first-time sponsors, Table 20 Creativity. They will be providing time lapse footage during set up, drone work as well as B-roll.

Their business offers Professional Videography Services specializing in cinematic wedding films, real estate showcase, business promotion, aerial photography, etc.