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MMH Auxiliary raising funds at Vendors N’ More Spring Gala

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MASSENA - More than 50 vendors will be on hand for a fundraising effort by the Massena Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.

The 2014 Vendors N’ More Spring Gala will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at J.W. Leary Junior High School.

“This is our second annual,” MMH Auxiliary President Kay Romeo said.

She said Jill Power came up with the idea as another fundraiser for the auxiliary. Theresa Gabor is this year’s event coordinator.

“Last year we got together in a hurry and decided we needed some new fundraisers. Jill Power came up with this idea. Being experienced in it, she knew the contacts and what we needed to do to get it done fast. We were lucky we had two people familiar with doing these. We did well,” Ms. Romeo said.

Last year’s inaugural event was held at the Knights of Columbus, where a similar event had been held more than two decades ago. But, Ms. Romeo said, they’re moving to the junior high this year because of the need for additional space that the school can provide.

“We had over 50 vendors. This year we decided we would try a larger place. We looked at St. Mary’s hall and the junior high. We decided on the junior high because we needed handicapped parking and more accessibility. We can put in more vendors. We thought we would try it this year and see how it went,” she said.

As of this week, she said, they were up to about 55 vendors who would be on hand for the May 3 fundraiser. They’ll be selling everything from Adirondack furniture and jewelry to honey, maple syrup and candy.

“We have a lot of variety. She (Ms. Gabor) has found quite a few new vendors,” Ms. Romeo said.

One vendor will be selling Alex and Ani bracelets, which she said are difficult to find in this area.

“It’s a new fad. Our gift shop is the only one in Massena that can carry them. They’re made in America,” she said, noting a portion of the proceeds are directed to various organizations.

Last year’s vendors from around the county had a number of items, ranging from jewelry, cookies, purses, wreaths, soap, wine and alpaca wool; to local honey, primitive decor, prints and cards, wood furniture and signs and from wooden toys; to recycled wine bottles, pottery, stained glass, stamps and scrapbooking. They filled both the upstairs and downstairs areas of the Knights of Columbus Hall.

In addition to vendors, there will also be a Chinese auction, bake sale, wishing well lottery raffle, book sale, refreshment booth and 50/50 drawing.

Ms. Romeo said they fared very well during their first year.

“Last year was beautiful. It was opening day for Little League, and it was just all around a good day weather-wise. It’s been a good money-maker for us,” she said.

They hope to make it an annual event that will keep raising funds for the auxiliary, who in turn supports Massena Memorial Hospital.

“We want to do it annually. That’s why we thought we had to decide on a place and stay at that place. We’ll see how it goes this year,” Ms. Romeo said.

Among the other fundraisers the auxiliary holds are bake sales, as well as book fairs three or four times a year.

“We have the four book fairs for two days. We do well on those,” she said.

This year they are also holding a summer accessory sale, which she said is a new fundraiser.

“We’ve been trying to find new things,” Ms. Romeo said.

The auxiliary also operated the hospital’s gift shop.

“The gift shop is our biggest supplier of money to the auxiliary,” she said.

All the money raised by the auxiliary goes right back into the hospital for items such as equipment and a scholarship fund. The hospital provide them with a wish list at the end of every year, and they try to raise money to purchase those items.

Two scholarships are awarded each year to graduating Massena High School seniors who are going into the medical field, and Ms. Romeo said they also award scholarships for hospital employees who want to go back to school to further their careers.

For more information about the Vendors N’ More Spring Gala, or to rent a booth, call Ms. Gabor at 842-2921, or email vendorsnmorespringgala@yahoo.com.

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