The Holiday Gift Market

In 2006, I had my first Junior League of Tampa experience when league member and work colleague at the time Emma Boulware asked me if I wanted to go to the Holiday Gift Market.  As members are required to buy so many tickets to hand out to friends and family, I was fortunate enough to get two that year…one for me and one for mom.  So as the first Friday in November arrived, I packed baby Davy (he was 11 months old) up in the stroller, and mom and I entered the Fairgrounds.  We were shocked at the quality of the vendors and just how wonderful the merchandise was.  What we also discovered is that 100% of the net proceeds from this event directly fund the mission of the Tampa Junior League.  The League was founded in 1926, and is an organization of 1700 women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.  Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

The Junior League of Tampa has been committed to building a better community for Tampa Bay’s children and families for over 85 years.  Our current projects include: Children’s Literacy, Enabling Fund, Kids Connect, Community Action, Food 4 Kids, Kids in the Kitchen, Connected by 25, Glazer Children’s Museum, Love Bundles, Treasures for Tampa, and DACCO.

This is the 7th Annual Holiday Gift Market and there are over 130 unique merchants from all across Florida and the country. ( I wish that I could have gotten everything into the picture above, but the room was just to large.)  Not only did I join the Junior League to be apart of this amazing group of women…but I still walk into the Market every year and smile from ear to ear at the fun and wonderful things I am going to find.  A couple of the things that I picked up this year are: a large gorgeous red patent leather bag and I had my initials monogrammed on it (yes they monogram on the spot)!, a Thanksgiving platter with matching salt and pepper shaker, and I ordered a new front door sign from my friend Andrea who owns Lost Your Marbles.  It is going to be a fabulous and shabby chic “Welcome” sign for my front door come spring…  :O) 

I volunteered this morning, and here are a few shots that I took so you can have a sneak peek.  The Gift Market is open from 9-7 tomorrow and 10-5 on Sunday.  I sure hope that you can make it by!  It is $5 at the door and I promise you won’t be disappointed…  :O)

Oh!!!  And don’t forget to check out the Cookbook table.  All of ours from the Junior League of Tampa that are in print are available for purchase as well as other League cookbooks from across the country.  It is fun to see how different the local flavors are and how each one is inspired.  As you can see below, the displays are beautiful and the samples that they are handing out are delicious!

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