Junior League of Columbia members Sara Ellison and Ashley Lamb are focused on one thing just before December: preparing for the organization’s annual Holiday Market. It’s the group’s largest fundraiser, with roughly 150 merchants from across the country in a four-day shopping extravaganza.
As co-chairs for the event, the two spend countless hours planning every detail of the market, which raises more than $250,000 for Junior League – money which is then used to support the organization’s mission of strengthening the health and well-being of children and families in the Midlands.
Outside of the Junior League, Ellison, a Columbia native who graduated from A.C. Flora High School and Clemson University, works as vice president and treasury sales officer with First Citizens. She and her husband, David, live in Forest Acres with their two sons, James and Hugh. Lamb, a Lexington native who graduated from the University of South Caroina, is marketing coordinator at Sowell Gray Stepp & Laffitte LLC. She and her husband, Kevin, and son, Hardy, live in Heathwood.
This year’s Holiday Market runs Thursday, Dec. 1-Sunday, Dec. 4 in the Cantey and Goodman buildings at the S.C. State Fairgrounds.
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Sara: Dining al fresco at Terra is a perfect, tucked-away date night spot on a summer evening – not to mention, the lamb mac and cheese is to die for. My husband, David, and I also love Baan Sawan. Always order the special, regardless of what it is. You’ll never be disappointed. We’re also fans of Cola’s, Bourbon, and snagging a cozy booth at Goat’s. If we’ve got the children in tow, you’ll find us at Cantina 76, Arabesque, or getting sweet treats from Ally & Eloise Bakeshop.
Sara: For an a.m. buzz, I love taking a morning walk from my office on Main Street to Drip, where the mocha latte is perfection. For a p.m. buzz, a glass of wine with friends at Tazza Kitchen is a welcome treat.
Ashley: I love to dance and listen to live music. The Finesse Band is my absolute favorite, and I am so looking forward to seeing them play at Holiday Market’s Preview Party. Don’t be surprised if you see me on stage with them before the evening ends.
Ashley: We enjoy watching the Gamecocks play ball – whether it be football, basketball or baseball, we love cheering them on and spending the time together. Hardy’s the cutest little Gamecock fan and loves to give us a “spurs up!”
Sara: Saturday morning at Soda City Market is such a wonderful start to the weekend, any time of year. Around the holidays, we enjoy visiting both Saluda Shoals and Riverbanks Zoo for the Christmas lights and activities. And what Christmas is complete without a visit to Santa? JLC’s Sundaes with Santa at Holiday Market is the perfect place to let little ones share their wish list with Mr. Claus, have a fro-yo sundae and do a little shopping for yourself.
If you go
Junior League Holiday Market
WHEN: Various times Thursday, Dec. 1-Sunday, Dec. 4
WHERE: S.C. State Fairgrounds, 1200 Rosewood Drive
COST: $8 for adults, free for children 12 and under; ticket includes all four days of event.