Charlottesville’s annual Martha’s Market is a very special opportunity to have some wonderful shopping fun while supporting The Women’s Committee of Martha Jefferson Hospital (MJH) in one of the community’s most successful fundraisers. The Committee has been busy preparing for the Market for the past year.
“I compare my excitement to planning a wedding,” declares Terri Bailey, the endlessly enthusiastic Chair of this year’s Market. She says the efforts of the dedicated members of the committee have laid the groundwork for a joyous and festive occasion. For example, Beth Wertheim is this year’s Decoration Chair and Bailey says the results are well worth the effort. “Our Market will have the look and feel of a charming and lovely garden oasis,” she says. “We are thankful for Snow’s Garden Center in helping us to turn our vision into such a beautiful reality.”
The Market will be a three-day delight, with boutique-type merchandise from all over the country which has been chosen to have a variety of price ranges to appeal to every shopper including clothing, jewelry, toys, gifts, gourmet foods, home furnishings and much, much more. Last year’s Market brought in more than $250,000 to benefit MJH programs. That’s a quarter of a million dollars!
In fact, over the past 17 years, through the tremendous success of Martha’s Market, the In The Pink Tennis Tournament and the annual Martha Jefferson 8K Run and 4K Walk, The Women’s Committee has raised nearly $3 million to benefit areas such as breast health, technology, women’s midlife health, heart disease and outreach to underserved populations.
Outstanding Vendors â¨Are The Key
Purveyors of everything from jewelry to women’s fashion, games, toys, antiques and home décor will make their way to Charlottesville from as far as New York, Illinois and Florida as the John Paul Jones Center is transformed into an amazing shopping galleria. There will be nearly 70 vendors and about one-third are first-time participants. The Women’s Committee has a Vendor Jury to help with the selection process and ensure both outstanding collections and a nice variety.
The Market contracts only with vendors outside of the MJH service area—that is, vendors beyond Charlottesville and the surrounding counties of Albemarle, Greene, Nelson, Louisa, Fluvanna, Madison, Orange and Buckingham. This has been the policy since the beginning of Martha’s Market, aimed at offering local shoppers access to vendors not ordinarily available to them. There is a real effort to keep the Market fresh and unique each year and fifteen percent of every sale goes directly to support women’s breast health programs.
“We’ve participated in Martha’s Market since 2002,” says Trisha Anderson, President of Frontier Soups in Waukegan, Il., which offers dried, all-natural gourmet soup mixes. “Taking part in holiday markets is the way the company started and now—celebrating our 25th anniversary—we still love those markets where we offer tastes of our 37 varieties. This is our only East Coast market and we love returning year after year.”
“We are truly honored to be a part of this wonderful show,” says Maggie Cabot. She and Ed Cabot own Little Indulgences, an upscale jewelry shop way down in Sarasota, Florida. “It’s well worth the time and distance because of many factors,” she continues. “First and foremost, the proceeds have such a profound impact on so many women and their families in the Charlottesville area. Second, The Women’s Committee is the best organized and most helpful of any shows we exhibit at, hands down, and we’ve made many wonderful friends over the past five years. Last, the shoppers have responded in a very positive way to our jewelry and accessories line and we have a very loyal customer base who look for us every year.”
J.L. Lane/Crossing Borders of Washington, D.C., specializing in handmade handbags, jackets, shawls and accessories, will return for their third year. “Our primary emphasis is on supporting women in Vietnam, India and Laos through education, business training and micro-finance,” explains Jennifer Woodsmall Larson, the daughter in the mother/daughter team who founded the company. “We very much believe in empowering women, whether in the States or abroad, and so are committed to supporting The Women’s Committee of MJH through participation in Martha’s Market.”
One of the new vendors this year is Janet Egan Designs from South Dartmouth, MA, which specializes in silk haute couture. “Part of our mission statement is philanthropy,” says founder/owner Janet Egan, “and in the five years we’ve been in business we’ve contributed more than $145,000 to 89 charities.” She says they are very excited to participate in Martha’s Market for the first time. “We understand that the show is excellent and it supports a cause very dear to my heart—breast cancer and the MJH Foundation. My mother died of cancer several years ago and my father was involved in the medical field his entire adult life.”
The wide variety of top-notch boutiques makes the Market a shopping destination from Roanoke to Richmond, Staunton to Washington. First, because visitors know they’ll find one-of-a-kind gifts to share with friends and loved ones and second, because they know their money goes toward a worthy cause.
What the Market Supports
Since 1994, The Women’s Committee has helped fund many facets of women’s healthcare, with the primary emphasis on breast health. Fundraising supports computer-assisted-detection software that increases the accuracy of digital mammography imaging, women’s midlife health, and heart disease as well as access to mammograms for under- and uninsured women, and support for women and families who are dealing with breast cancer.
Nearly 20 programs are assisted. Here are just three that indicate some of the scope of the work to which The Women’s Committee contributes includes:
- The Cancer Resource Center where Coordinator Vicky Brunjes offers educational materials and other programs dedicated to supporting individuals receiving treatment in the Cancer Care Center.
- Support for Early Detection through the Biannual Breast Health Screening Days, Breast Health Liaison, Digital Mammography, Computer-Assisted Detection (CAD), and MRI.
- Our Cloak of Caring through support for Palliative Care, Breast Health Fund, Lymphedema Care, Infusion Center chairs, blanket warmers, and robes.
The big news this year, of course, is that the hospital staff has completed the move to the new facility at Pantops with beautiful views inside and out. All patients coming for appointments at the Phillips Cancer Center walk past the highly visible and convenient Cancer Resource Center. Adjoining the Center is Marianne’s Room, where last year 200 patients who had lost their hair were gifted with wigs—especially important to those who lacked the resources to make such a purchase. Marianne’s Room also provides scarves, special chemo caps, soft post-operative prostheses, education, restorative makeup and other support to women undergoing cancer treatment in an effort to address not only their physical needs, but also their emotional needs.
For more information, visit www.mjhfoundation.org and take a look at “Martha’s Matters”—an impressive list of the nearly 20 programs supported by funds from The Women’s Committee.
The Women’s Committee â¨and the Charlottesville â¨Community Make It Happen
Planning Martha’s Market is a yearlong enterprise involving hundreds of people dealing with accounting, decorations, tickets, hospitality, mailing, membership, preview party, public relations, special events, sponsors, and vendors. In short, Martha’s Market would be impossible without the dedication of The Women’s Committee. It takes some three days to set up and decorate for the Market, three hectic but rewarding days while the Market is open followed by a concerted (and exhausting) clean-up effort.
Market Chair Bailey says, “My first encounter with the Market was seven years ago as a shopper. I immediately became interested in becoming a part of it because I believed in the cause.” She notes that The Women’s Committee members join for a variety of reasons. “I think the most compelling reason is because they also believe in the cause,” she says.
“Some are breast cancer survivors themselves or have had a family member or friend that has been touched by the disease. Other women are new to our community and join to network.”
There are nearly 150 active members of The Women’s Committee. Each one has a strong interest in being an ambassador for MJH and supports the Committee financially as well as with countless volunteer hours.
And applause for Martha’s Market success is also due the generous community sponsors.
The presenting sponsor is Wells Fargo. Event sponsors—some are “in kind” donors—include Lite Rock Z-95.1, the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Central Virginia, SMG, and Snow’s Garden Center.
The Major Sponsor roster includes ACAC, BMW of Charlottesville, CenturyLink, Charlottesville Radiology Ltd. & CRL Surgical Associates, Flow Audi of Charlottesville, McGuireWoods LLP, NBC 29/CW 29 and StellarOne. The Special Sponsors and Partners list is very long—representing a wonderful outpouring from the community.
Mark Your Calendar
So put Martha’s Market on your calendar and invite some friend for a great day of giving while shopping. Martha’s Market will be open on Friday, October 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; on Saturday, October 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Sunday, October 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the John Paul Jones (JPJ) Arena in Charlottesville. The $8 ticket admits shoppers for all three days. Discounted admission rate of $5 is offered to active duty and retired military personnel and their families with ID, college students with ID and teenagers 14 and over. Children 13 and younger are admitted free. Gourmet lunch, convenient parking, and complimentary coat and package check are available.
For additional information, as well as a complete list of all the sponsors, donors, businesses, and the many people who help make Martha’s Market so successful, visit www.mjhfoundation.org, www.facebook.com/MarthasMarket, and www.johnpauljonesarena.com or call 434.654.8258.