By Lynn Colburn
Passavant Area Hospital’s annual Christmas bazaar is always one of the first events to kickoff the community’s holiday season. At 3 p.m. Friday, November 11, a ribbon-cutting ceremony with co-chairs Debbie Bailey and Lisa Kluge began this volunteer driven event, which many work tirelessly to fruition each year. Funds raised through the annual bazaar and other Auxiliary fundraising efforts provide scholarships to hospital employees seeking to further their healthcare training, and this year’s funds will go toward the purchase of a stress echo cardioiography system which is used to determine how well a person’s heart and blood vessels are working. It is a new service for Passavant Hospital, which can help patients with another local diagnostic option for better patient care.
As visitors came in the door, Amy Albers was greeting guests along with other members of the Passavant Auxiliary. Albers was selling one of the new items this year, the “Meal and Memories Are Made Here” cookbook, featuring 162 pages of recipes form Auxiliary members with main dishes, breakfast and breads, appetizers, side dishes, desserts, and soups and sauces. Cookbooks are $12 each and still available at the hospital gift shop.
The “Antique Boutique” had a special new area this year near Passavant’s newly renovated cafeteria, which gave them more room to add larger antique furniture to the mix along with lovely selection of artwork, jewelry, china, collectibles and other unique pieces. The Antique Boutique chairs were Linda Curtis, Anne Wildrick, Diana Olinger and Janet Chipman.
“Frozen Feasts and Sweet Treats” are always popular and busy areas with people buying lots of delicious frozen meals and mouthwatering sweets for family and friends. Volunteers generously baked and cooked mouthwatering items for this area including scrumptious crab puffs, pepperoni tartlets, soups, chili, cookies, noodles, Amish friendship bread, cinnamon rolls, cakes, pies, snacks, candies and more. Those who walked through commented on the delicious aroma that greeted them as they entered the door. Sweet Treats chairpersons JoAnn Nelson and Karen Sibert arranged items on tables so guests could find the items that appealed to them. Frozen Feasts’ chairs were Barb Hansmeier and Debbie Richards.
The “Gift Gallery” had special handmade items from local volunteers and crafters including special handmade coaster sets of Jacksonville, MacMurray and Illinois College landmarks created by Mary Jo Barker. Many crafters made wonderful holiday gifts that would look wonderful under the tree or on it. Decked out in holiday hats in this area were Gift Gallery chairs Linda Swisher, Marilyn Kimmons, Sandy Austwick and Mary Jo Barker.
Other annual bazaar favorites took place, including tea and goodies served in the lobby by volunteers like Dee Hill on Friday; a Breakfast with Santa on Saturday morning for children and their parents; a Holiday Luncheon on Saturday afternoon; a raffle drawing for packages such as a cash package, golf outing, game day and more; and a sun-filled room with local vendors selling wonderful jewelry, makeup, creams, pottery and more.
The hospital’s gift shop was also decked out in its finest Christmas attire for the event and had gifts that would work for everyone on a family’s Christmas list – naughty or nice.