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Jewelry sale benefits Obici Auxiliary

For some folks, all they need is a good excuse to go shopping.

That’s what happened earlier this week at the $5 jewelry sale held to support Sentara Obici’s Auxiliary Club.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Masquerade jewelry brought its show to town, and nearly 1,500 shoppers visited the lower level of the hospital to shop.

“It was a very good turnout,” said Debbie Williams, auxiliary chairperson. “It’s always a good fundraiser for us. It’s every woman’s dream.”

Spread throughout the rooms were tables filled with jewelry, watches, shirts and bags.

“I sent emails to all my friends about the sale,” said Laurie White, a shopper and Obici employee. “It’s a great cause and chance to give back. I’ve been coming for years. The earrings and bracelet I’m wearing have come from here.”

The sale — the first of two this year — brings back repeat customers, looking to buy more of what they’ve bought before and to scope out the new sales.

“I bought a puckered green and aqua shirt that I always get compliments on,” said Billye Walton, a shopper and Obici volunteer. “You can’t find them anywhere else. It goes great under jackets and washes like a dream.”

Word from customers spreads like a wildfire, too.

“We’ve had so many walk-ins,” White said. “It’s good to always see new faces.”

While the selection is vast and quality great, a percentage of all the sales go back to the auxiliary, which aids the hospital with manpower and material.

The auxiliary has more than 100 volunteers that help out around the hospital.

“When you think about that, we’re able to save the hospital a lot of money,” Williams said. “Average salary is $20 an hour. Those are hours they don’t have to pay someone.”

Jewelry sales and other fundraisers also help the auxiliary raise money that helps fund free mammogram screenings, Daffodil Days and a bone density screenings. This year the auxiliary also will donate 10 new wheelchairs.