COVID-19 precautions make Christmas in August fundraiser a safe success
The sound of Christmas music filled Studio on the Common in Winchester the last week in August as the Winton Club held their 4th annual “Christmas in August” event. The event looked a bit different due to COVID–19 precautions, but the club members worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure safety for guests and the Studio staff.
Usually, the Studio on the Common hosts the event for one day. But this year, in order to adhere to social distancing protocols, owner Gail Ockerbloom agreed to host the fundraiser for an entire week. “The Winton Club and their members have been hugely helpful to us,” Gail said. “This is a great way to help them and to support Winchester Hospital.”
Shoppers received a 10 percent discount, and Studio on the Common donated 10 percent of all sales to the hospital. Proceeds were used to support A Caring Place, a resource at Winchester Hospital‘s Center for Cancer Care, which provides cancer patients with wigs, prosthetics, scarves, and other items that help during treatment but are not covered by insurance.
For Deb Ciarcia, one of the event organizers and a breast cancer survivor, this event is deeply personal. “Although COVID has stopped many things, it hasn‘t stopped cancer,” she explained. “The Winton Club supports A Caring Place so that no one has to worry or even think about the cost of these supplies.”
Deb and the Winton Club were grateful for the involvement of Salter HealthCare and Northmark Bank, sponsors of the event. “We‘re ingrained in the community,” explained Anne Brennan, executive director of Salter‘s Winchester Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. “We want to be a resource to support the community as much as we possibly can.”
Denise Flynn, Winchester Hospital‘s vice president of Philanthropy, was thrilled to see so many turn out in support of Christmas in August. “The Winton Club is incredible!” she said. “Despite COVID–19, they‘re still finding creative ways to support the hospital. We are so appreciative!”