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Holly Eve

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    Community is a group of people living in the same locality, or a group of people with common interests. The dictionary makes this statement but we all know there is more to community than that. Every community requires leaders that have a passion for their community and the good things it has to offer. Marilyn Sabella is one of these leaders.

    For 21 years Marilyn has organized the Holly Eve Celebration. This year’s is Nov. 17th at the Panida Theater. She has the help of the Holly Eve Foundation board as well as over 80 individuals and as many businesses and organizations from the area.

    This sounds like a lot of help and in fact, the celebration would not happen without their work. What the list in the program does not say, however, is that Marilyn Sabella personally called each one to ask for their involvement, a show of her passion for the event.

    Sabella saw a need for a benefit to help many local organizations 21 years ago and started the foundation. Its primary purpose is to organize this party, and it has raised  over a quarter of a million dollars through the years. One thing that makes this possible is everything found at the party is donated. This year, even all the talent is donated. In addition to the donations of time, talent, and products, over 60 contributors add to the treasure for area organizations. Marilyn refers to the contributors as the Angels.

    This year’s benefactors are the Panida Theater, the Festival at Sandpoint and the American Red Cross.

    After partiers enter on a red carpet, they will be greeted by Sandpoint Mayor Paul Graves and other local dignitaries.

    This year the program includes the Syringa Valley Chorus, Danceworks and Co., and Sweet Adelines; all are local performers.

    In keeping with tradition the evening includes a Fashion Review. All 16 of the models are from this area and show style and pizzazz.

    Of course this year, like the previous years, the event includes A Very Special Auction. With 25 items it will be fast and fun and an opportunity to Christmas shop while supporting the community. To compliment it will be a Silent Auction with over 75 new items from area artists, businesses and individuals.   

    On Nov 15 from 5-7 there will be a preview of the auction items at the Panida with complimentary wine from Pend Orielle Winery.

    At the main event on Saturday the 17th will be free champagne, sparkling water, and gourmet coffee. A Taste of Sandpoint, a free hors d’oeuvre supper representing 18 area restaurants, will be provided for attendees. A no-host bar will also be available by Ivano’s. Ivano’s then donates back to the Holly Eve Foundation.

    The look of the sets and decorations will be a little different this year. Gary Ayers did the design for the last 20 years but has moved out of town. This year Corene Jones and crew have created the night’s look.

    “Holly Eve is the eve of the holiday season and an opportunity to start the season by celebrating and renewing old acquaintances,” said Marilyn

    The community does rise to the occasion to throw this annual party, but it takes the leadership and passion of Marilyn Sabella to bring the community together and make it happen.

    Holly Eve is at the Panida

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Author info

Ernie Hawks Ernie Hawks is a former theater director who has branched into the creative fields of writing and photography. He lives in a cabin in Athol with his lovely wife Linda, and feeds the birds in his spare time.

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