Longtime vendor at Kelowna Farmers Market remembered

Legacy won't be forgotten

Vendors and visitors at the Kelowna Farmers' Market were remembering the life of long-time vendor Saturday.

Friends described Laura Burnell-Higgs as someone who wouldn’t hesitate to introduce herself to someone new at the market. She had a burning passion for her postage stamp jewelry business and loved putting others first. But on Aug. 4, she had to put herself first when she was faced with a difficult challenge, Stage 4 melanoma cancer.

Sadly, Laura's fight ended on Sept. 12. She left behind her husband and five-year-old daughter.

According to Rachelle Zelaney, her friend of six years, Laura's legacy at the farmers' market will not be forgotten.

“Today at the farmers' market we have a memorial booth where we have her banner set up, a donation box, and a link to the GoFundMe page," Zelaney said. "We also have a fundraiser with Olive and Bramble Co. with some t-shirts."

The shirts are currently up for pre-sale, and the funds are going directly to her family. If you’d like to help the family, click here.

The person behind the t-shirt fundraiser is Bailey McAreavy. She owns Olive and Bramble Co., and her booth is situated right beside Laura’s at the farmers' market. She says so far the response to shirt sales has been overwhelming.

“It's been pretty crazy so far. We’ve actually gotten to the point of raising $20,000 that we have created as a community, and that's going to be for Laura’s family and her daughter,” said McAreavy.

Bailey says she feels honoured to help out in a way she does best.

“Originally when Laura was going through her battle with cancer, I just had the idea to do what I love best, and create art and kind of move forward with that, in hopes of creating some financial abundance for her family,” says McAreavy.

Many of those who knew Laura were on hand Saturday morning to pay their respects at her booth. Memories were shared among friends and family, several cards were available to offer kind messages, and donations for the family were also made. Her mother said that besides her love for her family, which was endless, she also loved the farmers' market and the people she interacted with.

Back in January 2020, Laura helped raise money to support the Australian bushfire relief efforts.

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