On Halloween, a group of dedicated volunteers spent the entire day putting up Christmas decorations.
Holiday tunes helped them get into the spirit as they began setting up for the 16th annual Marketplace this weekend at the Gainesville Civic Center. Proceeds will benefit Northeast Georgia Health System’s Women’s Imaging Outpatient Services.
An entire area within the new imaging center the hospital is building will be dedicated to women’s outpatient imaging.
"What we are hoping to do is to be able to help in any way, with imaging equipment or decor, in whatever way we can," said Elizabeth Embry, one of three chairwomen for the holiday shopping event.
Embry said with the money they hope to give the women’s outpatient imaging area a "spa-like" atmosphere to make women comfortable while they are there.
"That is so important," she said.
This is the first year that proceeds from Marketplace will go toward the women’s outpatient imaging, and Embry said it likely will go toward the center again next year.
"Right now is really crunch time, especially for decorations," Embry said.
Marketplace will feature more than 70 merchants from around the Southeast selling unique gift items such as art and pottery, jewelry, home accessories, gourmet food and antiques. The event is sponsored by The Medical Center Auxiliary Inc., Gainesville Bank & Trust and The Times.
About 200 volunteers will help throughout the weekend, said Lynne Allen, director of volunteer services for Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
"It’s just tremendous the support that is provided by the volunteers," Allen said. "Marketplace is a community event, and without the support of these volunteers it just would not be possible."