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Traceway residents selling costume jewelry to raise money for fountain | Lifestyle

TUPELO – The lake at Traceway Retirement Community is getting a much-needed facelift.

Methodist Senior Services is footing the bill for renovation of the lake, which includes dredging it and adding a decorative barrier around it.

“Work has already started on the levee,” said Dawn Steinman, director of retirement living. “But the project will be ongoing this spring, summer and fall.”

Some residents at Traceway are taking the project a step further. They’re planning a fundraiser to pay for an aerator and a fountain for the lake, which will cost between $8,000 and $9,000.

“We’ve done bake sales and Boston butt sales in the past to raise money for things,” said Alice Lute, coordinator of the fundraiser. “I thought maybe this time we’d do a jewelry sale. The ladies out here have so much costume jewelry from years ago.”

The fundraiser will be Saturday, May 1, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the front foyer at Traceway Manor on West Main Street in Tupelo. Masks are required to enter the building.

“Costume jewelry today is not the quality it used to be,” Lute said. “What we’ve got for sale here is antique costume jewelry. Today, some of it would be considered fine jewelry.”

The cost for each piece will be between $5 and $50.

“It’s very affordable,” Lute said. “Somebody is going to find something really wonderful.”

Items will include rings, watches, bracelets, pierced and clip-on earrings, necklaces, brooches, cubic zirconia, hair clips, lockets, pendants and pearls.

“We won’t have any real diamonds or anything, but there are beautiful pieces that ladies used to wear every day,” Lute said. “Ladies used to bling up. They don’t do that anymore.”

Residents are not offering their fine jewelry and heirlooms, but at least 100 of them have donated costume jewelry for the event.

“My daughters went through my stuff and got what they wanted, so the rest is left for me to do as I wish,” said resident Joann Strain. “And if donating some pieces helps Alice get her aerator, that makes me happy.”

Strain is particularly fond of brooches.

“My mother, if she went to a filling station, she wore a brooch,” Strain said. “And she always had on a string of pearls.”

Kathryn Stephens, a Traceway resident, said she went through her jewelry box and tried to clean out items she longer wants.

“I’m not donating the special pieces – those will be passed down to family,” she said. “Jewelry is so personal. To me, it means a day or a month or a year – whenever I got a piece. I love necklaces and I still wear earrings.”

“I feel like I’m not dressed if I don’t have my earrings in,” said resident Rosamond “Rose” Rankin. “I also have gobs of brooches, because my mother was into brooches.”

Stephens said she used to collect watches, but she’s given most of them away.

“I don’t know why I even wear one now,” she said. “I never pay attention to the time anymore.”

Lute said if anyone in the community wants to donate costume jewelry to the sale, they’re welcome to drop it by Traceway Manor.

“Jewelry is one of those things that takes you back,” Lute said. “It takes me back to a time when life was simple, and life was beautiful.”

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