AILO’s 2018 Christmas Charity Bazaar on Dec. 1 & 2

AILO President Judi Rosselli-Cecconi during Bazaar preparations

The 43rd edition of the AILO Christmas Bazaar will be held in a new location: the Tepidarium of the Orticoltura garden (via Vittorio Emanuele II, 4) on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 3:30 – 7 pm and Sunday, Dec. 2, from 10:30 am to 7 pm.  The venue, the largest greenhouse in Italy, will have a magical ambiance filled with lights and music – a true Christmas wonderland.

The AILO, or American International League, is a non-profit association which raises funds to support charities in the province of Florence.  The Christmas Bazaar will help finance many projects: possible recipients this year include an organization that cares for those suffering from leukemia; a portable ultrasound machine that can be transported from the emergency room to the ICU for a hospital 25 miles from Florence; a local food bank and homes for disabled adults as well as senior citizens.  The women are also considering helping a local, private animal shelter in the city that cares for older dogs, rabbits, ducks, doves, and cats saved from breeders as well as an outreach program of Il Tempio per la Pace, an organization that unites members of all religions.

Stands at the bazaar will sell clothing, books (in Italian and English), crafts, toys, vintage items, Christmas decorations, homemade jams and jellies, handmade scarves and hats, and the unique treasures of the White Elephant table. The Lottery and Silent Auction offer prizes donated from shops, restaurants and estates in Tuscany. Stores all over Florence have donated goods and services, so the public can expect gift certificates, boutique items, Tuscan wines, and weekend trips.  International food treats will be available from American desserts such as brownies and carrot cakes to Nordic specialties: spiced cookies and mulled wine. Santa Claus will make a surprise appearance to give candy to children. (beatrice paolucci)