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Whether they came for a Christmas ornament, a stuffed knit bear, Scandinavian almond bars, hand-crafted jewelry or a hug from one of the three Sisters of St. Joseph who run the place, they came.
Boy, did they come.
There was a line outside the front door at Neighbor to Neighbor well before the scheduled 9 a.m. opening of the fifth annual Holiday Boutique and Bake Sale Saturday morning, so the sisters opened a few minutes early. By 9:15, the day center in downtown Concordia was packed.
Items featured in the boutique included one-of-a-kind jewelry, handcrafted holiday décor, artwork, knit scarves and hats, quilted items, children’s clothes and toys, women’s apparel and bobbin lace designs. The always popular bake sale featured cookies, candies, breads and other goodies.
All the items were made by the women who come to the center, along with friends and supporters of Neighbor to Neighbor.
A special item this year was the 500-piece jigsaw puzzle of the Nazareth Motherhouse Rose Window.
(In case you missed Saturday’s Boutique, items from Neighbor to Neighbor and the Rose Window puzzle are also available in the Nazareth Motherhouse Gift Shop, which is open Monday through Friday.)
For many of the shoppers, stopping for a hug and conversation with the three women who founded Neighbor to Neighbor — Sisters Pat McLennon, Jean Befort and Ramona Medina — was as important as checking out the items available for sale. Staff member Myrna Shelton and numerous Neighbor to Neighbor volunteers were also on hand to chat and catch up.
The event included a drawing for several prizes. The items, each listed with the winner, were:
- 18-inch doll complete with a wooden bench and a full wardrobe of clothes and shoes — Libby Hill of Concordia
- Twin-size “Neighbors in Bloom” quilt — Rose Maginnis of Concordia
- $50 gift certificate to El Puerto — Marsha Wentz of Concordia
- Hand-knit teddy bear on his own chair — Verna Hamel of Concordia
- Hand-painted decorative Christmas Shovel — Carolyn Thurston of Vermont
- Kansas City Chiefs fleece blanket and pillow — Amber Colby of Concordia
All proceeds from the annual event support the programs, artists and craftswomen at Neighbor to Neighbor.