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Alternative Christmas Market Soldiers on Without its Founder

Tom Flanigan

Tallahassee's Alternative Christmas Market to benefit dozens of area charities took place over the weekend. It was the first time the event has happened without its founder, who died last month.

Participating agencies included the Madison Youth Ranch. Administrator Mica Renfroe explained her organization helps foster kids find forever homes.

"Sibling groups often struggle with finding adoptive placements, but we've had great success with multiple sibling groups being adopted out of Madison," she said.

Then there was Lutheran Social Services, where Emily Millet was collecting donations to provide car seats to low-income families.

"Nobody else is giving out car seats in this area and everybody's desperate for them!" she said.

But the event's founder, John Davis, was missing. His many children, including adopted son Walt Trierweiler, were working the Heifer Project booth in his stead.

"He was the dad that you wanted to have instead of necessarily the one the cards dealt you," he remembered. "He was always very gracious and always loved to connect with people."

John Davis died last month (November 4) at the age of 85.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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