After more than 20 years at another location in Tampa Palms (the Publix-anchored City Plaza shopping center), the annual Arts & Crafts Under the Palms Show & Sale, the largest fund raiser each year for the Tampa Palms Womens Club (TPWC), just may have found a new “permanent” home — in the parking lot in front of BJ’s Wholesale Club in the Market Square plaza.

Co-chairs Stella Hardman and Judy Alkow say the Club was thrilled with the weather (the event was held Oct. 15-16, the same weekend as the Wesley Chapel Fall Festival; see next page), the crafters, the layout, the turnout, the amount of money raised and, especially, the treatment the Club received from BJ’s.

“None of the (TPWC) cmembers can remember us EVER being treated so royally,” Hardman said as the event was winding down that warm, sunny Sunday afternoon. “BJ’s did EVERYTHING for us, They all seemed to be genuinely happy to have had us there.”

Laura Ferrario, the customer relations liaison for the Tampa Palms BJ’s, said the feelings were mutual. “They’re a wonderful group of ladies and this is such a nice event,” Ferrario said. “And, BJ’s, as a company, takes a lot of pride in doing things to help out in every community where we have a store.”

At our press time, a couple of weeks after the crafts show, which also featured some outstanding food (a real New York hot dog van, instead of a cart, great Jamaican jerk BBQ, fresh kettle corn and more), the TPWC didn’t have an exact total of how much was raised, but Hardman says, “We definitely beat last year. We’re very much looking forward to next year’s show!”

The TPWC donates the proceeds of its many fund raisers to local nonprofit organizations twice a year. They will announce the recipients of this year’s most recent funds raised in December. — GN

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