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Holiday Shops 2023

Holiday Shops 2023

Since 1977, USM’s Holiday Shops has provided generous support for the school while serving as a one-stop shop for unique gifts and experiences. The fact that it’s still going strong after nearly 50 years is a testament to the women who have overseen the event’s planning and implementation, even when faced with forces beyond their control. There was October 1982, when Holiday Shops had to compete for attention with the last two games of the World Series featuring the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals. Then there was October 19, 1987—also known as Black Monday—when the stock market fell by 500 points, making the Preview Party (held, unfortunately, on the same day) a rather subdued affair.

But those events didn’t curtail the Parents’ Association’s efforts to raise money for USM, nor did subsequent events like the 2008 global financial crisis, or the global pandemic of 2020. The countless PA volunteers who plan and implement Holiday Shops demonstrate an incredible ability to adjust, to adapt, and to innovate. It is this ability that makes Holiday Shops a beloved tradition, and one of the school’s largest fundraisers, year after year. We are grateful for their perseverance and support.

Holiday Shops 2023 raised an estimated $170,000 via vendor sales, auction items, donations, Week of Winning raffle, Wine Pull, and Faces of USM photos sales.

Shoppers enjoyed 57 vendors from around the country.

More than 2,000 visited Holiday Shops over the course of three days.

  • On Campus
Former Holiday Shops chairs pose for a photo before the Preview Party.

As an annual tradition, former Parents’ Association presidents and Holiday Shops chairs gathered prior to the Preview Party to reminisce and reconnect. Standing, from left Carla Bartlett ’78, Carolyn Burton, Maryglen Kieckhefer, Susan LeFeber, Julie Sellars, Cathie Torinus, Jennifer Reese, Sara LeBrun-Blashka, Pamela Shovers, Colleen Polston, Nancy Link Roos, Ellen Venable, and Margy Stratton ’84. Seated, from left Penny Howland, Lyn Slater, Deanna Braeger, Linda Mellowes, Susie Gebhardt MUS’58, and Susie Kasten MDS’60.

Holiday Shops co-chairs pose for a photo during the Preview Party.

Holiday Shop co-coordinators Katie McGregor (left) and Heather Erlandson ’92 posed for a photo during the Preview Party.

Holiday Shops patrons participate in the popular wine pull station during the Preview Party.

Lower School teachers Patricia Ptak (left) and Erica Melick assisted guests at the wine pull station during the Preview Party.