The 41st annual Holly Fair continued Glenview’s holiday tradition

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A Glenview tradition beloved by many has returned to kick off the festive season.

The 41st annual Holly Fair was held Nov. 10 at Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield. Holly Fair is presented by the OLPH Women’s Club of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) Church in Glenview.

More than 25 vendors filled large halls at the paid event. Many shoppers were seen carrying numerous bags in their cars with festive purchases. The evening Sip-n-Shop party is popular with Holly Fair fans.

Between 250 and 300 attendees were expected at Thursday’s event, said Jen Farr of Golf, president of the OLPH Women’s Club and president of Holly Fair.

“The Women’s Club’s mission for Holly Fair is to raise funds for the OLPH church to help promote its ministries, ministries that encompass everything from Sr. Paulanne’s work with local families in need, to committee of sharing and support for members of other parishes in the city,” Farr said.

Sr. Paulanne Held is the face behind the OLPH Sharing Room which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary of helping provide necessities. The Fund for Sr. Paulanne’s Needy Family is named after Paulanne Held.

Christmas decorations for the anniversary were sold for $10 to benefit the ministries. The ornaments sold out at Holly Fair.

These Christmas tree ornaments for Sister Paulanne Held's 40th Anniversary Sharing Room, sold at Holly Fair at Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield on November 10, 2022.

Farr added: “Holly Fair is the culmination of all the best things about the holiday season, getting ready for the gathering of friends and family, finding the perfect gift, meeting friends old and new at Holly Fair , while contributing to the work of OLPH Church.

Evanston’s Alexis Washa saw fashionable outerwear with a vacation twist.

“I come every year, I love coming here,” Washa said.

OLPH’s Reverend Patrick Kizza hosted a table in partnership with the Never Give UP Foundation. The items offered were made in Uganda where Kizza is from.

Left to right, back row, Gretchen Conlon of Glenview, Glenview store owner Maddie Amelia and Kristin McDermott of Glenview, shopper, helping customers at Holly Fair at Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield on November 10, 2022.

“Uganda is a poor country and we have people who need help,” Kizza said. “We need to raise awareness.”

Items have been made by nuns in Uganda to support orphans, Kizza said.

“We are all one family,” Kizza said of the overall vision. “We have to support each other.”

Katie King and Jeannie Vassilos, both of Glenview and both of Glenview’s Coronet Collection, held a booth along high windows overlooking a patio and the golf course.

Vassilos founded the company five years ago, selling accessories and fashion pieces such as handmade bracelets. Private lounges are part of the Coronet Collection business model.

Jeannie Vassilos of Glenview, owner of the Coronet Collection of Glenview, helps customers at Holly Fair at Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield on November 10, 2022.

“I studied fashion and I have four kids and I needed something to do for me, and I could do it at night when the kids were sleeping, so I started making handbags and I brought them to Holly Fair,” Vassilos said.

“And my business just exploded.”

Vassilos described the Coronet collection as follows: “It’s kind of a meeting between the Hamptons and Florida, it’s our vibe.”

Glenview store owner Gretchen Conlon of Glenview Maddie Amelia and Glenview shopper Kristin McDermott of Glenview also had a busy table with customers.

Maddie Amelia is located in a storefront at 1726 Glenview Road. Small Business Saturday, which takes place this year on November 26, will be part of Maddie Amelia’s holiday awareness campaign.

It’s important to support local businesses because “we need more stores in Glenview,” Conlon said.

“So we’re trying to get it back.”

Far right, Angela Uvaldo of Glenview and Angela's Oh So Sweet Treats of Glenview serve customers at Holly Fair at Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield on November 10, 2022.

The hot chocolate bombs donated by Angela Uvaldo of Glenview and Angela’s Oh So Sweet Treats sold out quickly.

Uvaldo said crafted gifts don’t take up permanent space like the noble trinkets received as well-meaning but unsustainable holiday gifts.

“I mean, who doesn’t like hot chocolate?” said Uvaldo.

Supporting local merchants helps independent merchants, Uvaldo said.

“We try to make a living,” Uvaldo said. “Support the locals.

“Support your friends and family.”

Karie Angell Luc is a freelance writer for Pioneer Press.

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