Celebration Village: Shopping for a cause

TUPELO – It’s not Christmas Eve, but volunteers and vendors are scurrying to deck the halls with holiday magic for Celebration Village.
The ninth annual holiday market benefiting Sanctuary Hospice House will open with a preview party at 6:30 p.m. today and continue with shopping Thursday through Saturday at the Tupelo Furniture Market. Shopping passes are $5 in advance through noon today, and $7 at the door.
“It’s amazing to watch,” said Cindy Faucette, event chairwoman for the Sanctuary Hospice Auxiliary, as vendors decorated their booths on Tuesday morning.
Nearly 140 vendors will take up residence in Celebration Village, selling unique food items, artwork, children’s and adults’ clothing, home furnishings and gifts. There are even children’s playhouses and designer dog houses for sale.
“We have more floor space this year, with slightly fewer vendors,” because many of the vendors have bought multiple spaces, Faucette said. “We have 25 new vendors.”
By the time the event is over Saturday, hundreds of volunteers will have loaned a hand to the cause and more than 11,000 shoppers will have come through the doors.
“This couldn’t happen without all the volunteers,” said Sheryl Blackburn, Celebration Village co-chairwoman and president of the auxiliary. “The whole community comes together.”
The volunteers come because they feel so deeply about Sanctuary Hospice’s mission – caring for the dying and their families.
“They feel like this is a way to give back,” Faucette said.
Community effort
Sanctuary Hospice House was born out of a community effort to help the terminally ill who needed hospice care but weren’t able to because they had no able caregiver to receive hospice services at home. Celebration Village has raised more than $2 million over the past eight years for Sanctuary, Faucette said.
Those funds are vitally important to the Sanctuary Hospice mission, said Linda Gholston, executive director.
Medicare and private insurance cover only about half of the hospice house’s operating budget. Celebration Village, the Sanctuary Village Shoppe thrift store, Jack Riley Memorial Golf Tournament, along with private donations, cover the rest of the hospice house’s operating costs, she said.
Since the hospice house’s doors opened in November 2005, more than 1,300 patients and their families have received care.
“We stay full,” Gholston said, and Sanctuary Hospice is in the preliminary planning stages for an expansion.
This year, Sanctuary Hospice began offering at-home hospice services to meet Medicare guidelines it was exempt from during its first five years of operation. That service is self-supporting; the money from Celebration Village goes toward the operating budget for the hospice house.
Contact Michaela Gibson Morris at (662) 678-1599 or michaela.morris@djournal.com.

Provide for Hospice House and shop
and golf this week

– Celebration Village Holiday
Market: Today through Saturday
• Preview Party: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. today. Tickets are $50.
• Shopping: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
• Tickets: Call (662) 610-5224 for preview party tickets or shopping passes. Oneday
shopping passes are available for $5 until noon
today. At the door, they will be $7.
■ Jack Riley Memorial Golf
Tournament: Friday at Big Oaks Golf Course.
• 11:30 a.m. registration and buffet lunch at Big Oaks Golf Course.
• 1 p.m. shotgun start for the four-person scramble.
• Cost is $175 per person.
Call (662) 791-1085.

Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal