The College Support Staff Association (CSSA) gave crafters, artists and bakers among Thomas Nelson faculty and staff a chance to showcase their talents during its Winter Bazaar.
The Jan. 10 fair drew participants and shoppers alike to the Wythe Hall Gallery on the Hampton campus.
On hand was Marla Latimere of Plant Services sharing creative paper goods including decorative journals, sticky notes and customizable greeting cards. She also had hand-made stuffed cloth pumpkins. Another crafter, Lisa Bailey of Information Technology offered ornate glassware and decorative tiles bearing art and inspirational sayings.
Rebeka Hanrahan, who was invited to participate by her friend from Thomas Nelson Human Resources, is an executive chef at Mary Immaculate Hospital. Among her baked goodies was cinnamon rolls, fruit tarts, brownies and more. She said participation in the bazaar was a great opportunity.
“This is something that I do on the side. I’m trying to kicksart my own business, basically,” said Hanrahan, who saw a steady stream of customers.
The Winter Bazaar joins CSSA’s line up of ventures designed to engage personnel across the College. It sponsored Gingerbread Wars, a pumpkin carving gathering and hosts routine bake sales at both campuses. CSSA also presents an annual professional development day and this year’s theme is “Culture and Empowering One’s Self at Thomas Nelson,” according to Matt Hedrick, CSSA president.
Hendrick said efforts like the bazaar help “to demonstrate how creative our staff can be.”
“That’s something that we forget in the day to day hustle and bustle of work … that drive and spirit that we have outside of the College needs to come back in. It’s also a way for others within the Thomas Nelson community to see the hobbies, energy and talent of their peers,” he added.
Noting that CSSA also provides a scholarship for eligible staff, Hedrick said as the organization celebrates its 30th anniversary, there are plans to bring back the cook out. Held annually in the past, the event allows College personnel to take a break and socialize while enjoying food and fun between classes.