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Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015
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Holiday extravaganza helps both shoppers and charity

Special to the Suncoast News


NEW PORT RICHEY — Gift shopping for the holidays can be stressful. You hunt through tons of stores to get the gift for everyone on your list. Your uncle wants something sporty, your sister wants something sparkly and your niece wants something pink that she can show off to her friends.

A local event planning service found a way to bring the holiday cheer back into gift shopping by hosting an event to help you find the perfect gift for your loved ones.

Passion Perfect Events was the host for the recent Winter Wonderland Shopping Extravaganza, held last Saturday at the Hilton Homewood Suites. The event featured 20 small businesses who showcased their items in order to bring gift shopping to one venue.

Vendors included Thirty-One Bags, Crafts by Linda, Dove Chocolate Discoveries, Scentsy, Wicked Apple Soap Company, Beacon Woods Florist, Avon, Papparazzi Jewelry and Mary Kay.

Melinda Noland, a Pampered Chef representative, liked the calm yet cheerful atmosphere of the event. “It’s different than going to the mall with all the hustle and bustle,” Noland said.

Melissa Dyer visited the event because she liked that there was a variety to choose from in a comfortable venue. “There’s many things in one place.” Dyer said. “More convenient.”

The event also helped charities with donations andprize drawings.

Kerri Hensel and Natalie Learn from Passion Perfect Events wanted to help not only stressed-out shoppers, but a worthy cause like Toys For Tots as well, which provides toys for under privileged kids during the holiday season.

Each vendor at the event donated a gift basket that was raffled off.

Krystle Hawthorne and Carl Mitler from Tupperware by Carol gave their own personal donation to the cause. They had already donated $4,000 to Toys For Tots.

The charity was actually the main reason why Melanie Teague became involved with the shopping extravaganza. “It’s for Toys For Tots, and there is a special place in my heart for them,” Teague said.