NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

October 31, 2013

Feeling festive

Anna Jaques fundraiser features flowers, holiday shopping

Buying Christmas presents can be a time-consuming, exhausting venture. Traveling from store to store, hoping to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list, can take its toll.

But a new festive fundraiser from the Anna Jaques Hospital Aid Association aims to take the pain out of the process by bringing a variety of vendors together for one-stop shopping.

Set for Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury, “Holidays in Bloom” will also help attendees “deck the halls” for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas. Steve Janavicus of Flowers by Steve in Haverhill will demonstrate how to create memorable floral arrangements, which will then be raffled off.

Looking to expand its major fundraising efforts beyond its annual spring Great Chefs’ Night, the association decided to take Janavicus up on his offer to help with an event.

“We thought it would be fun to have something in the fall,” said Susie Parker, a member of the association’s board directors. “We wanted to do something special that is a little unique to what the aid has done before.”

Parker and fellow board members attended the Danvers Garden Club’s “An Evening With Flowers by Steve” this past April and decided to expand on the format of that event, which included a demonstration and a few merchants selling products.

“We decided to take that vendor idea and run hard with it,” said Susan Dixon, manager of the hospital gift shop and a member of the aid association board.

“All of the vendors are focused on holiday gift giving,” Parker said. “We tried to really think of what people would want during the holiday season.”

Items for sale will include sterling silver jewelry from Sunburst Trading in Rowley, giant fortune cookies from Fantastic Fortunes in Maine, homemade jams from R.E. Kimball and Company in Amesbury, calendars and notecards from local photographer Suzanne DeGeorge, and clothing and jewelry from Rocas in Newburyport.

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