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‘The best cup of tea around’

The Inverness Consolidated Memorial Hospital auxiliary will host its annual Christmas tea and sale Friday, Nov. 29, from 6-8 p.m., at the Inverness Fire Hall. CONTRIBUTED
The Inverness Consolidated Memorial Hospital auxiliary will host its annual Christmas tea and sale Friday, Nov. 29, from 6-8 p.m., at the Inverness Fire Hall. CONTRIBUTED - Corey LeBlanc

Inverness hospital auxiliary to host annual Christmas tea and sale

ANTIGONISH, N.S. —

INVERNESS, N.S. —  Two dollars doesn’t buy much anymore.
But it will Friday evening (Nov. 29) at the Inverness Fire Hall.
As Lois MacIsaac describes, $2 is the purchase price for “the best cup of tea around.”
Not to mention a delectable plate of sandwiches and sweets, along with coffee, if you prefer.
That’s what visitors will be able to enjoy, from 6-8 p.m., during the Inverness Consolidated Memorial Hospital (ICMH) auxiliary’s annual Christmas tea and sale. Event proceeds are earmarked for equipment purchases for the Inverness County healthcare facility.
"We always try to have something new or a little bit different,” MacIsaac, a long-time auxiliary member, said of the expected offerings at the fundraiser.
An event announcement described the celebration as “one of the special Christmas events on this side of Cape Breton.”
“We always receive tremendous support from all over our catchment area,” MacIsaac said.
That support includes “significant contributions,” including from countless “gifted” people who sew, knit, bake, craft, gather and donate items. 
Craft tables will not only have sought-after knitted socks, mittens, scarves and hats, but also aprons, which are always a must-have for visitors.
“The quilters have been busy and their work is beautiful,” MacIsaac noted.
And don’t forget the baked goods — with seasonal favorites topping the menu of tasty treats — preserves, and popular fudge table.
There is also parcel post, books galore and much more, including the traditional visit from Santa, who will be toting treats for the little ones.
“We don’t know until we get there,” MacIsaac said with a laugh, of what different groups and donors will provide, other than the usual focus on “wonderful crafts and knitted items.”
Auxiliary members will also be selling tickets on a snow blower, with the draw taking place at the Christmas tea and sale. Inverness Shean Coop is a generous contributor to this grand prize offering.
Tickets for the snow blower, along with a denim patchwork quilt draw, are available at the Tuck Shop, which is operated by the ICMH auxiliary in the foyer of the hospital.
New merchandise is always arriving at the Tuck Shop, so it is a great place to pick up a gift for someone special, especially during the holiday season.

Rich history
Over its more than 40-year history, the ICMH auxiliary has raised almost $2 million.
“It has been quite some time,” MacIsaac said, when asked of the genesis of the annual Christmas tea and sale.
Last year, proceeds from this fundraiser helped with the purchase of equipment for the emergency, ambulatory care, physiotherapy and diagnostic imaging departments, as well as patient room chairs.  
Auxiliary volunteers lead two main fundraisers, including the spring fling tea and sale, which focuses greatly on plants. 
“There is always something going on,” she noted.
On a day-to-day basis, auxiliary members run The Tuck Shop.
“Those are our main sources of income,” MacIsaac said of the initiatives.
The Scotsville ladies will also host their annual cookie sale outside the Tuck Shop Thursday, Dec. 12.

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