November 28, 2010 12:46:00 AM
Jan Swoope - [email protected]
What was first conceived as a nurturing outreach ministry at the Church of the Good Shepherd in East Columbus has grown in recent years into the community-wide HEARTS after school tutoring program for students at risk of falling behind in school.
The non-profit agency''s programs for those referred children in kindergarten through fourth grade will get a heart-felt boost when doors open Friday, Dec. 3, on the first HEARTS Holiday Bazaar in Trotter Convention Center''s lower level, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"HEARTS decided to embark on a holiday bazaar to offer a regional shopping event to mark the beginning of the holiday season," said Board President Elizabeth Johnson. "More than 40 merchants and artisans will showcase their unique and imaginative gift items." Vendors hail from the Golden Triangle area, as well as from Tuscaloosa and Northport, Ala.
Boutique to antique
Items offered range from work by artists including Kay Calaway, Patti Johnson, Kevin Voller, Debbie Alexander Elayne Goodman, Sara Crowley and Rosa Henderson; handmade crosses and jewelry; unique clothing from area boutiques; custom-made Christmas wreaths by Renee Perkerson; garden bulbs in decorative pots and much more.
One sparkling highlight will be a silver and crystal booth, run by HEARTS volunteers and featuring some antique pieces. There will also be an Ole Country Bakery booth.
Al Holen, ceramics instructor at Mississippi University for Women, will have hand-crafted bowls to benefit the Empty Bowls program. Habitat for Humanity will sell signed Gail Pittman ornaments, Johnson said.
Be on hand at noon for Christmas music performed by the Suzuki Strings Advanced Ensemble.
Bazaar shoppers can make a festive day of it Dec. 3. Wassail Fest is from 5-8 p.m. downtown, and the lighting of the downtown Christmas Tree next to the Welcome Center at 300 Main St. takes place at 6 p.m.
HEARTS stands for Helping Every Age Reach and Teach Students.
"This bazaar is one of our primary means to continue to offer this program with no expense to students," said the Rev. Sandra DePriest, event chair. "Educational materials, a healthy snack and summer camps in a safe, Christian environment are all examples of how the support from our friends and community make a difference."
Admission to the bazaar is a $5 donation at the door. Or get advance tickets at HEARTS, 109 Lawrence St., the Rosenzweig Arts Center or Party and Paper in downtown Columbus.
For more information, contact DePriest at 662-574-1972 ([email protected]), or Johnson at 662-712-8500 ([email protected]).
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.