Why deal with busy traffic, crowded parking lots, and the need to travel to multiple stores for your holiday shopping needs when you can visit over 30 vendors in one convenient setting right here in Carbondale? For the fourth year, Carbondale UNICO will present All Wrapped Up, a holiday shopping extravaganza in the festively decorated Chandelier Ballroom at the Carbondale Grand Hotel.
The event will take place on Sunday, November 19, from noon until 4 p.m. In addition to a the wide variety of items offered for sale by the vendors, All Wrapped Up will feature basket raffles, door prizes, and entertainment by Frankie Gervasi of The Poets. Free coffee and tea, as well as a homemade cookie bar, will be available during the event. The hotel bar and restaurant will be open for those who wish to purchase drinks or a meal.
Tickets for All Wrapped Up are $5 and will be available at the door. Attendees may park for free in the hotel parking garage if they wish. Each $5 admission ticket includes a ticket for the door prize drawing. All participating vendors have donated items to be used as door prizes, so several winning tickets will be drawn every half hour.
A wide variety of vendors are scheduled to take part in the shopping extravaganza, including Maiolatesi Wines, unique jewelry by Ann Marie Machek, Mr. B’s and Breaker Boys courtesy of Mayor Justin Taylor, Linda Rupp with handmade stained glass items, handcrafted bows from MM Bows, and many more.
“This event used to be called Ladies Day Out, but we didn’t want to exclude the gentlemen, so we expanded our types of vendors. This is an opportunity for the men to do some Christmas shopping. Between the vendors and the committee members, we can help them shop for the special ladies in their lives,” explained All Wrapped Up committee chair Lisa Criscera Conarton.
More than 30 baskets will also be up for grabs during the event’s basket raffle. Raffle prizes include gift cards for local restaurants and other businesses, baskets created by area vendors, and baskets donated by UNICO members. Sheets of basket raffle tickets cost $5 and the winners do not need to be present at the drawing.
All of the funds raised through All Wrapped Up will be distributed to local charities and community projects. The committee has not made the final determination yet as to who will receive this year’s proceeds, but intend to “keep it local” by using the money in Carbondale.
In previous years, proceeds from this and other UNICO fundraisers have been donated to the Greater Carbondale YMCA, the Carbondale Public Library, the Gino Merli Veterans Home, and for patients recovering from cancer. Funds have also been used to purchase backpacks and sneakers for students at the Carbondale Elementary School, to host Christmas parties for residents of the Carbondale high rises, and for scholarships for local students.
Carbondale UNICO is a chapter of UNICO National, the largest Italian American service organization in the United States. The local chapter has over 60 members who regularly engage in service to the community and to other non-profit organizations, such as the St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen. The organization’s bylaws only allow financial help to be given by the group if a fundraiser is held, so several are organized each year.
“We cannot give without having a fundraiser. We try to designate funds for things in the community that we find out about, so we hope this year’s event will be the biggest and best yet” remarked Mary Lynn Brannon, public relations liaison for the thirteen-member All Wrapped Up committee.