Despite the heat, artisans such as jewelry maker Femi, seen here, were happy to catch the vibes and sell their wares. JA-EL POWERS/Contributed

Yes, the black asphalt was hot and steamy, but it was hard not to catch the happy vibes at the back-to-school trunk sale on Aug. 27 at Burton Memorial United Methodist Church’s parking lot in Tavernier. Who can resist the JOY ukulele band playing “Achy Breaky Heart?” Or the lemonade girls — wearing hats emblazoned with the yellow fruit — selling the drink at 25 cents a pop? Not us.

Edith Zewadski-Bricker spearheaded the event, which was hosted by the United Women of Faith. “Our mission is to empower women, children and youth around the world,” she said with a warm smile, pointing out that proceeds from selling spots to the 50-plus vendors for the event go toward organizations such as Wesley House Family Services. On this day, attendees could shop for everything from quilts and jewelry to fishing gear and rummage items.

But there is a not-so-secret-mission behind the trunk sale: Building community. Zewadski-Bricker points out the team of United Women of Faith who all helped organize the event: Mary Lou Wilkinson, Virginia Spear, Edna Waldorf, Sue Peacock, Betty Ann Gear, Pat Fincannon, Cindy Davis, Wendy Diaz, Kim Youngblood and Linda Norman.

And the church’s Rev. Kerry Foote — who was seen driving attendees to their cars in his golf cart — said events like this are invaluable for communities in these times. “You get to know people, you exchange phone numbers,” he said. “These things are vital. I’m excited. We need more of this.”

Not to fear, he said. Locals can help unload pumpkins for the church’s annual sale starting on Oct. 8, as well as attend its fall festival on Oct. 29. More information is at We hope the Lemonade Girls will be back.

Charlotte Twine fled her New York City corporate publishing life and happily moved to the Keys six years ago. She has written for Travel + Leisure, Allure, and Offshore magazines;; and the Florida Keys Free Press. She loves her two elderly Pomeranians, writing stories that uplift and inspire, making children laugh, the color pink, tattoos, Johnny Cash, and her husband. Though not necessarily in that order.