By LOIS KINDLE
One of the most unique shopping opportunities of the holiday season is back for a fourth year, and it’s definitely one you won’t want to miss.
The C.A.R.E. Gift and Wine Fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dec. 2, at the Del Webb Southshore Falls Clubhouse, 122 Falls Blvd., Apollo Beach. Admission is $10, which includes one free ticket for the chance drawings.
The fun-filled event features a wide array of unique gifts and gift packages; free wine tasting; chance drawings for dozens of gift baskets, gift cards from local grocers, restaurants and businesses and free or discounted services; and a large silent auction. Tickets for the chance drawings are $1 each, $5 for seven or $20 for an entire arm’s length. Wine-pull tickets are $10 each.
Additionally, 30 vendors will be selling everything from fine silver jewelry, glass art, pickles, jams and jellies, and wood art to pet accessories, cigars, watercolor art, custom wine boards and holiday décor.
New this year are potters Mary Gleditsh and Pat Galetti; Donna Carrion with her custom art jewelry; Fiddly Bits 3-D framed art and ceramics; and Tickle Ye Fancy plumed and jeweled hats and accessories. Meat at the Board, of Riverview, will sell featured charcuterie boards and other items and take special orders for your holiday gatherings.
The event will also include a wine pull and 50/50 drawing. Last year’s winner walked away with $300.
Some of the big auction items include four Florida Orchestra tickets; a Lightning Tampa Bay Lightning hockey puck autographed by Victor Hedman; four Florida Aquarium tickets; X-Head Fishing charter for four; VRBO at Little Harbor for two nights, three days; River Ventures Snorkel with the Manatees at Crystal River for two; four tickets to Zoo Tampa; Date Night for a Year, an assortment of restaurants and activity gift cards; Taste of Apollo Beach gift card package; and Taste of Ruskin/Sun City Center gift card package.
Sponsors for the event include Southshore Align Right Realty, Board and Brush/Apollo Beach, Camp Bow Wow, Canine Cabana, Century 21 Beggins Enterprises, East Bay Insurance, Kathy Lieberman RE/MAX, Meat at the Board and Specialist Fence/Concrete.
“This is our largest fundraiser of the year, and all proceeds help fund the shelter’s annual operational expenses,” said Cheri Schumacher, C.A.R.E.’s outreach coordinator and Gift & Wine Fair chair. “Last year we [netted] $21,144,” she said. “This year’s goal is $23,000. The money goes directly towards animal care.”
C.A.R.E. receives no governmental funding and relies strictly on fundraisers, adoption fees, occasional grants, individual donations, business sponsors and bequests. Since its founding in 2000 by veterinarian Hal Ott, the 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization has rescued hundreds of abandoned, neglected and homeless dogs and cats
The shelter is located at 1528 27th St. SE, Ruskin, and is staffed almost entirely by volunteers. It’s open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, visit www.careshelter.org or Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort on Facebook. You can also call 813-645-2273.