The Robin Theatre hosts a bake sale and silent auction to benefit the Refugee Development Center Sunday.
Ty Forquer/City Pulse

It’s not uncommon to catch strains of live music drifting out of the Robin Theatre. But passersby Sunday may catch a whiff of something else: fresh baked goods.

Sunday, the REO Town Theatre hosts a bake sale and silent auction. All proceeds from the day will go to the Refugee Development Center.

“We wanted to make sure that people in our community know that they’re supported,” said Sara Doherty, one of the event’s organizers. “I think the Refugee Development Center has been doing incredible work in support of our entire community.”

The silent auction includes art pieces donated by local artists, including paintings, ceramics and jewelry, and local businesses are contributing items like gift certificates and baskets. Community members are donating baked goods and other foods to be sold. Anyone interested in contributing items to the bake sale or silent auction can find more information at therobintheatre.com/calendar.

As Lansing leadership grapples with whether or not to embrace the “sanctuary city” label, the event organizers decided to do something to show solidarity with community members that may be fearful or concerned about a crackdown on immigrants and refugees. Sunday’s event, Doherty said, was put together with other community members who felt that there was an urgency to take action.

Beth Sanford, owner of Rubie’s Paradise Salon and another organizer of the event, said that the residents of Lansing that come to her salon are very open and willing to help their fellow community members.

“Everybody that walks through those doors are really concerned and being proactive right now,” Sanford said. “I just think that says a lot about Lansing.”

She said that her customers and other citizens of Lansing are not just talking the talk, but they’re taking action.

“There are people calling senators who’ve never done it before, people getting involved in politics that never thought they would and people starting fundraisers that have never thought twice about it,” she said.

Other local organizations are chipping in this weekend as well. Comedy Coven is hosting a benefit show, “Standup for Sanctuary,” Friday at the Robin Theatre, and Strange Matter Coffee Co., which donated gift baskets for Sunday’s auction, will also donate $1 from every drink sold at it’s Michigan Avenue shop between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday to the Refugee Development Center.

With all the benefits, the organizers of the event are hoping to send a clear message to refugees and immigrants in the Lansing area.

“We just want them to feel that they’re welcome,” Sanford said. “We just don’t want people to think that everybody feels that they’re not welcome.”

Bake Sale and Silent Auction for Refugee Development Center

1-4 p.m., Sunday, March 12
The Robin Theatre 1105 S. Washington Ave.
(989) 878-1810, therobintheatre.com

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