Celebration Village: It takes a village to celebrate Sanctuary

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

For the 10th year in a row, volunteers will create a magical holiday market out of love for Sanctuary Hospice House.
“It’s amazing to me how generous people are with their time and talents,” said Sheryl Blackburn, 2011 Celebration Village chairwoman. “You see how much people love the hospice house.”
By the time the preview party kicks off at 6 p.m. on Oct. 19, the holiday spirit will be wrapped around the Tupelo Furniture Market Building 5, and shops offering an amazing range of clothing, art and gifts will be in place. The market will continue with general shopping Oct. 21 through 23, and traditionally about 15,000 people will come shop and celebrate.
Before the last strand of tinsel is put away at the end of October, hundreds of hands from across Northeast Mississippi will have touched the market.
“It extends past the Tupelo area just like the hospice house does,” Blackburn said.
Sanctuary Hospice House was created so people who were dying and their families would be able to get the benefit of the holistic hospice approach when they couldn’t stay in their own homes. In addition to providing comfort measures for the dying person, hospice care focuses on the emotional and spiritual well-being of the dying and their families.
Since Sanctuary opened its doors in 2005, the house has served 1,510 families from 32 Mississippi counties as well as Alabama and Tennessee.
Celebration Village is the largest fundraiser for Sanctuary Hospice House, helping the house close the gap between Medicare and insurance reimbursement and the care needed to make the dying and their families comfortable.
“Without Celebration Village, the store, our golf tournaments and donations, we could not break even,” said administrator Linda Gholston.
The village is getting a bit of a makeover for its 10th anniversary.
“There’ll be a new look for the entrance and lobby this year,” Blackburn said.
This year, 135 vendors will be offering art, clothing, jewelry, accessories, Christmas decorations and gourmet foods at the market.
“More than 50 of them are new to Celebration Village,” said Patricia Mitchell, Sanctuary special events coordinator.
“There are price ranges for everybody’s shopping list,” Gholston added.
The 2012 Sanctuary Angels – the 12th in the series – will make their debut at the market. The $25 pieces were created this year by Crossroads Pottery in Baldwyn. The Sanctuary Auxiliary also will have T-shirts and cookbooks for sale.
Again, Rudolph’s Reruns, which does not require a ticket to enter, will offer gently used and new toys.
“We’ll have more toys than ever before,” Gholston said.
Special effort
This year, proceeds from booth rentals and ticket sales are earmarked for Sanctuary’s operations, but the corporate sponsorships for Celebration Village are dedicated to Sanctuary’s $1.2 million expansion project. The expansion will add eight patient rooms, enlarge the kitchen and parking facilities.
The effort, Campaign 354, is named in honor of the 354 patients Sanctuary had to turn away in 2010 because there were no rooms available when they were dying. When completed, the expansion will allow Sanctuary to take about 100 more patients a year.
“We already have $925,000 in donations and pledges,” Gholston said. “People have been so generous.”
Although Sanctuary has received several significant gifts toward the campaign, it has truly been an effort of the multitude, Gholston said.
“Many of those contributions have come from families that have been served,” Gholston said. “They recognize the need for more beds like nobody else.”
The Sanctuary board has voted to move ahead on the project. Work on the first phase of the expanded parking lot will begin this fall, and construction on the building should break ground over the winter, Gholston said. The work is expected to take about a year to complete.

Celebrations Village
What: Holiday market benefiting Sanctuary Hospice

Where: Tupelo Furniture Market Building V, Coley Road

When: Oct. 20-22
• Preview party: 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 19

• Oct. 20-21: Shopping 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Oct. 22: Shopping 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Costs: One-day passes $5 in advance, $7 at door; preview party $50; passport including preview party and general shopping $75.

Entrance to Rudolph’s Re-Run’s used toy shop free

Tickets: Online: www.sanctuaryhospicehouse.com
By phone: (662) 610-5482

Outlets: Amory Lawn & Pool; Ginger’s, Corinth; My
Friends Tea Room, Houston; Bankhead Florist, New
Albany; Peas & Carrots, Oxford; Ella Ivy Boutique and Photography by Trent, Pontotoc; DB Floral Design, Saltillo; Reed’s in Starkville and Columbus; Sanctuary Village Shoppe, Room to Room, Busylad and Bishop’s Flowers & Gifts, Tupelo.

You can help
Share gently used toys for Rudolph’s Reruns. Drop off at Tupelo Fire Stations No. 1 on West Jefferson Street or No. 6 on Coley Road by Oct. 10.
Bake breads, pies, cakes, cookies or frozen casseroles to sell at Celebration Village cafe. Drop off at Tupelo Furniture Market Oct. 19-22. Call (662) 321-0191 or (662) 844-3385.
Volunteer for a shift during the market. Call (622) 844-3024 or (662) 841-9611.

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