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Marketplace event in Gainesville features party, auction and shopping
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Marketplace Preview Party
What: Coat and tie attire, heavy hors d’oeuvres, silent/live auction, cash bar
When: 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Gainesville Civic Center, 830 Green St., Gainesville
How much: $40
Contact: 770-219-1830

When: 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday;
9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Gainesville Civic Center, 830 Green St., Gainesville
How much: $5, free for children under 12
Contact: 770-219-1830

The Medical Center Auxiliary has found a way to help the shopaholics in the community get their fix and give back to the community at the same time.

The group is currently gearing up for its 19th annual Marketplace, scheduled Thursday through Saturday at the Gainesville Civic Center.

Every year, the auxiliary donates the proceeds from the shopping event to improve some department of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center. This year’s beneficiary is New Horizon’s North, a long-term care facility.

Since the event is co-sponsored this year by the auxiliary and Willis Investment Council, organizers say that they don’t have to worry about deducting expenses from money generated by the event.

“One hundred percent of the proceeds from Marketplace will benefit New Horizons,” said Meg Nivens, an event organizer.
“They’ll be using the money to give the place a really nice, updated makeover. It’ll really make it a very special environment for the residents and their families.”

Last year, the event generated around $145,000, a figure that organizers hope to top this year.

At Thursday’s preview party, there will be a live and silent auction, heavy hors d’oeuvres and, of course, shopping.

“The preview party allows community members to come and shop before Marketplace opens to the general public,” said Lynne Allen, medical center director of volunteer services.

“This year we have 73 merchants from seven different states. We’ll be selling tickets at the door, but there’s always the possibility of us selling out, so (attendees) are encouraged to go ahead and reserve their tickets in advance.”

The $40 preview party ticket includes admission to the event Thursday and also a return ticket for Friday or Saturday.
Organizers say that there are a lot of new additions to the preview party auctions this year.

“We have gotten a lot of fabulous donations this year — everyone has been so generous,” Nivens said.
“This year we have a lot more weekend get away trips that have been donated for the auction.”

All in all, Nivens says that 14 trips, among other things, will be auctioned off Thursday.
There will also be a silent auction for “artsy garden” items during the general Marketplace on Friday and Saturday.