MUSKEGON, MI — After 24 years of breast cancer survivor fundraising, awareness and research, Tempting Tables is ending its operations.

The Muskegon-based nonprofit organized a biannual event that showcased tablescapes and collections crafted over a multi-day affair in October. Tempting Tables has raised over $1 million since its inception in 1996.

Marleen DeLong, one of the organization’s founders, said their committee decided it was “a good time” to wrap things up.

“For many different reasons,” she said in an interview with MLive.

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The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the organization to reassess. The next event was scheduled for 2021, but DeLong said Tempting Tables faced organizational challenges as the pandemic continued.

“It was not an easy decision for our committee, that’s for sure,” DeLong said. “But it just seemed like it was something we should do.”

The first year Tempted Tables debuted with 15 tables and five collections. DeLong said she raised $19,000 through the event, which she called a “gift” to see this community support. The most recent event, held in 2019, featured more than 30 tables, a collection of wedding dresses dating back to 1870, and rare Wonder Woman collectibles.

“In my mind, I couldn’t even imagine that we could raise over $1 million,” DeLong said.

All proceeds from ticket sales were donated, and almost all of it went to specific breast cancer researchers to help with their work.

Tempting Tables also established a Dream Fulfillment Fund, which was used to purchase gifts for people with cancer.

“Deciding to dissolve, our hearts were there too,” DeLong said of the Dream Fulfillment Fund.

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The organization has also made efforts to post billboards and signs to raise awareness of breast cancer in non-event years.

“We have always stayed true to our mission and have been able to provide the community with a fun and unique fundraising event that has always been a pleasure to attend,” said Mary Kendall, Co-Chair of 11 Tempting Tables Events. A declaration.

As Tempting Tables wraps up, remaining funds will be donated to physicians the organization has supported over the years.

DeLong said she is humbled and proud of what Tempting Tables has been able to accomplish at 13 events spanning more than two decades.

“Our gratitude is above and beyond,” she said.

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