DECATUR — Throughout the year, 10 crafters from the HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary meet once a week to make holiday decorations with a long-term goal in mind.
“We do a lot of snowmen, because that way you can use them all winter,” said Judy Wiggins, a crafter and auxiliary member.
The group will display its work at the Christmas Extravaganza Craft and Bake Sale from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, in the hospital’s Assisi Room.
The Christmas sale will have homemade crafts and bake goods for purchase made by auxiliary members. Vendors will also be selling specialty items, such as personalized children's and adult books, gourmet soaps and lotions and wooden bowls.
Visitors can also enter two raffles. First, the queen-size quilt titled “Tour Around the World” will be displayed during the sale. Auxiliary members Esther Miller and Margaret White had a hand in making the quilt.
“Hand, leg, foot, I don’t know what else,” Miller said.
In a separate raffle, a vintage sled is decorated with lights and an evergreen swag.
The auxiliary created a special area for gently used Christmas decorations called Santa’s Closet.
“Some of it is collectible stuff,” White said. “There are some of the things people look for on eBay, but it is real cheap here.”
The auxiliary’s holiday inventory has more than 100 decorations, including sleds, snowmen, wreaths and centerpieces.
This year, the auxiliary plans to purchase neoBLUE blankets with the Christmas craft show proceeds. The blankets are wrapped around jaundice newborns, or those who have a yellow discoloration of the skin, providing light for phototherapy. The auxiliary will also be purchasing automated electronic defibrillators for the hospital’s education department.
“They will be used for training,” said Susan Dudra, St. Mary’s Auxiliary president.
Future auxiliary fundraising events include Chocolate in February. The total cost of the medical equipment will be more than $9,000.
The auxiliary was formed in 1954 and focuses on enhancing the patient experience at the hospital, Dudra said. The volunteers greet visitors, deliver flowers, work in the gift shop and transport patients.
“The weather has not been Christmasy,” Dudra said. “But I guarantee you, if you come out to the Christmas sale, you will definitely catch the spirit.”