This year’s Alternative Gift Fair has a slightly new tongue-in-cheek moniker — the “Alternative” Alternative Gift Fair.

That’s because the fair, which benefits up to 50 nonprofits each November, is going virtual.

Rather than being a two-day event at Evergreen Lutheran Church, it will be a two-week online sale.

With the Conifer Holiday Boutique canceled and Winterfest morphed into an art sale thanks to COVID-19, the “Alternative” Alternative Gift Fair is extra important, organizers say.

The Alternative Gift Fair is called the fair that gives twice: People buy items that can be used as holiday gifts, and the nonprofits get funding for their programs.

Organizers of the fair, celebrating its 20th anniversary, didn’t want the nonprofits they help to miss out this year, according to Bill Graf, the fair’s co-chair. The fair traditionally raises between $100,000 and $120,000, with all proceeds going to the nonprofits.

“This year, we thought long and hard about whether we could possibly do a physical, normal Alternative Gift Fair with extreme precautions,” Graf said. “We came to the conclusion that we shouldn’t. Like so many other organizations, we were sad about that.”

Beginning Nov. 1, shoppers can visit, and they will be redirected to the nonprofits’ websites, where they can buy items.

Then on Nov. 21, volunteers will be in the Evergreen Lutheran Church parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., so people who purchased items can drive through and pick them up. Nothing will be sold on Nov. 21, Graf emphasized.

“We know (the nonprofits) help people both near and far,” Graf said, “around the world and in our county and our community. We wanted to find a way to be able to provide some support, though this is certainly not in the way we have done it before.”

Contact Deb Hurley Brobst at or