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Glitz & Garland shopping event aids hospital, area chamberPublished October 31, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Yes, many people say that Christmas sales come too early in the year. However, in Benton, hopefully shoppers will get into the holiday spirit by noon Friday.
At 12 o’clock, the doors will open at the new Benton Event Center for the third annual Glitz and Garland holiday shopping event. The event, which has been planned and promoted since a cookout on the Saline County Courthouse lawn in June, will features dozens of vendors from across the state offering such items as jewelry, furniture, clothing, holiday decor, toys, accessories, gourmet foods and collectibles.
The event will benefit both the Benton Area Chamber of Commerce, helping to fund its local programs to promote the community, and the Saline Memorial Health Foundation, which provides private support to Saline Memorial Hospital, the only full-service hospital in a county of more than 100,000 people.
“The foundation is part of the success and accomplishments of Saline Memorial,” said Matt Brumley, director of the foundation. “The community built this hospital for a reason — to have local health care. We want to support that cause and help make it even better.”
The Christmas-themed event may be the first time most of the community’s residents have had an opportunity to see the new event center.
“There is more excitement than ever this year,” said Gary James, executive director of the Benton Chamber. “With more space, more vendors and more people coming out, we plan on this being the biggest turnout yet for Glitz and Garland.”
Brumley said he is glad Glitz and Garland will take place a month after the center opened in Benton.
“This will be the third big public event for the center,” he said. “Being later, at least we know how better to set it up, from the vendor booths to where to place the four-wheel-drive pickup being donated.”
For the third straight year, Everett Buick GMC will give away a new 2013 GMC Sierra, this year on Saturday. The names of the finalists will be drawn Friday. Only 500 tickets will be sold at $1,200 each, generating $50,000 for the chamber and the hospital foundation.
Brumley said the hospital and the foundation had only around 25 tickets left to sell, and they expected to be sold out by the opening of the shopping event. Tickets were also in short supply at the Benton Chamber of Commerce. They are still available from the chamber and the Saline Memorial Health Foundation.
On Friday, 10 names will be drawn from the ticket stubs. These finalists will be notified and given a key. The next day, they will be given an opportunity to start the truck. The person with the right key will drive the Sierra from the event.
For several years, the funds generated with the Glitz and Garland shopping event have gone to renovate patient rooms in the hospital. Last week, Brumley led a tour of some of the rooms that now feature warm woods and rocking chairs and furniture that would be more acceptable in a home bedroom than in a hospital.
While more rooms are being renovated, the next new project for Saline Memorial will be a major renovation of the hospital lobby, courtesy of the foundation.
“About 14,000 people go through the lobby every week,” Brumley said. “Everybody who goes in the front doors sees the lobby, and it has a big impact on people.”
He said fixing up the lobby can begin only after the project is totally funded and that a successful Glitz and Garland could make that a reality this year.
“We don’t want to do the work piecemeal,” Brumley said. “If we are going to take out the lobby, we need to do it at one time and get it done.”
The renovated patient rooms help the patients feel better about the hospital and the care received, Brumley said.
“The more positive impression the patient can get, the more they will feel they are receiving the best care, which is what we are trying to do,” he said.
“The Saline Memorial Health Foundation and the Benton Area Chamber of Commerce are grateful for the support of out community,” Brumley said. “This event offers patrons an opportunity to get a head start on Christmas shopping while supporting commerce with many of our local businesses.”
“All these people getting together for a good cause — it makes me proud of Benton and Saline County,” James said at the kickoff event for Glitz and Garland.
Tickets to Glitz and Garland are $5 and can be purchased at the Benton Area Chamber of Commerce or at the Benton Event Center on Friday when the Yuletide-themed event opens. For more information about Glitz and Garland or the truck giveaway, visit www.glitzandgarland.com.
Staff writer Wayne Bryan can be reached at (501) 244-4460 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tri-Lakes Edition Writer Wayne Bryan can be reached at 501-244-4460 or email@example.com.