Carson Valley artisans, businesses and regional fire departments are rallying Saturday to support the Northern Nevada Peer Support Network at Big Daddy’s Bike and Brew, 1546 Main St., Gardnerville, starting 1 p.m.
Northern Nevada Peer Support Network is a statewide nonprofit organization founded to provide mental health resources and support to first responders, veterans and hospital support staff.
Holly Waszkiewicz, owner of Candles With a Cause and the event organizer, is married to her college sweetheart and firefighter husband Bret of the Carson City Fire Department.
Waskiewicz said first responders experience life altering situations every day, especially over the past year while coping with the pandemic, and first responders often face higher incidences of mental health issues and suicide.
“I was invited a year ago to speak at a fire academy about my experience as the wife of a firefighter,” she said. “It was a tear-jerking day for the guys, and we talked about what we’d like to change about people’s views on marriage and mental health.”
This face-to-face experience with new cadets inspired Waskiewicz to launch her business, Candles With a Cause, to raise awareness and to lead herself out of a dark place during the pandemic.
“We lost two dear friends to suicide, I lost my job and kind of lost my way,” she said. “I began pouring candles as a way to express myself when things got hard.”
The candles, she said, are meant to shine a light on giving one person the availability to talk about what they are struggling with.
“We live in such an amazing community,” she said. “My business or passion wouldn’t be as successful as it is today without the love and support of Nevada and our local communities.”
The event kicks off with live music by Pacific Dub guitarist Hunter Porter, who is driving up from Los Angeles the day before the band takes off on tour. Silent raffles with items donated by local businesses, artisan booths, food, and beverages will be available throughout the day.
For more information about the event, visit the East Fork Professional Firefighters Association Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/3803099719816214?ref=newsfeed.
Local Business Donations and Raffle Prizes
Battle Born Wood Working - set of custom created corn hole boards ($20 raffle ticket)
NV-US Silver - NV shaped Mala necklace w/ matching earrings ($20 raffle ticket)
Casa Blanca WoodWorking - two thin red/blue line custom made signs ($5 raffle ticket)
Brass Knuckle Bakery - ($20 gift card)/Overland ($50 gift card)/Coffee On Main (coffee basket)/DST Coffee (coffee basket) - ($5 raffle ticket)
Biggest Little Box Co (handmade NV pillow, wine glass)/The Melted Belle (wax melts set) /Eddy Street Vintage Market – Gift basket ($5 raffle ticket)
Small Business Booths
NV-US Silver Works - handmade jewelry
Valencia Ranch - Handmade soaps, lotions, bath bombs
HeartFelt Home Creations - Handmade felt items
Oneloa Nevada - Handmade NV hats and shirts
The Hitch Boutique - mobile fashion boutique trailer will be parked on site for all day shopping
Candles With a Cause – hand-poured candles in custom 16 oz beer glasses in various scents