By Brooke Curley
SAFFORD – A Gila Valley tradition stretching across decades, the Christmas House boutique raises money for needed supplies for the Mount Graham Regional Medical Center.
Put on annually by the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center Auxiliary, the Christmas House is the result of a year of hard work by the ladies and gentlemen of the auxiliary. This year is the 44th annual Christmas House located at 525 Main St. in Pima.
A different house is chosen every year to be featured as the Christmas House. The house is a random home in the community where individuals are willing to give up the home for the weekend to be used by the auxiliary. The Auxiliary then decorates the various rooms of the house by the handmade items of the craft boutique. On the designated weekend, the Christmas House then opens up to the public and individuals tour the house to buy handmade items of the boutique. The kitchen, a child’s room, dining room, and living room are decorated with the items for sale, and the house is then opened to the public to shop. Items include everything from Christmas ornaments to handmade oven mitts.
Honey Marchetti is one of the auxiliary members. Marchetti told Gila Valley Central that although the younger generations of the Gila Valley may not know about the Christmas House, it is a wonderful display of talent and is a great fundraiser. Last year’s money bought a Phlebotomy chair and three EKG chairs for patients.
“It’s an opportunity to fundraise for the hospital,” Marchetti said. “We spend the money the following year on items that we have been asked to supply the hospital. Equipment that is patient-centered that is specific for patient care.”
This year there will be several new items coming to the Christmas House. First off, this year the Christmas House will be in Pima. This will be the first year the house will be in Pima. Secondly, the Pima Choir will be singing Christmas carols at the house.
This year’s Christmas House is located at 525 Main Street in Pima. There will be a preview night on November 3, a live auction, and a raffle that continues through the weekend.
Although it is mainly the auxiliary that creates the handmade crafts, anyone may contribute. However, Sheri Jones, Chairman of the auxiliary says that everyone is always welcome to join the auxiliary.
“We really need young people to join the auxiliary. All it requires is two hours a week,” Jones said.
Duties of the Mount Graham Regional Medical Center Auxiliary include:
Manning the registration area
Run the gift shop
Create memorial pages
Make bonnets for the newborn babies.
Take photos of newborn babies
Visit new mothers and bring snacks