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"You get what you give!"

Marieluise-21

Artwork by Marieluise Hutchinson

Each year, Hutchinson follows the same process and schedule for completing her new card. After deciding on the subject matter, she works on the painting in February. When the paint is dry on the piece, she has a photographer take a picture of it, which she then sends to Viabella. Her print order is substantive—usually 700 to 800 boxes, each containing 15 cards. The cards are then delivered in the summer or early fall; some shops begin selling the cards right away, while others wait until after Halloween.

One business that has supported the project over the years is the Yarmouthport branch of Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod. “We have been selling the cards since the beginning,” says Sue Provencher, the branch’s vice-president and manager, “and we often run out. We sell them in the lobby and people often ask about the Baby Center. As a community bank, we want to give back when we can, and because of Marieluise and her work, the bank hosted a separate drive in 2010 to collect diapers for the Baby Center.”

Hutchinson recalls that in the early years, she did all of the work involved with the fundraiser—on top of completing the painting. “I knocked on doors, asking shops if they would sell my cards—and I delivered them too,” she says. “Now, I have help with that.”

Today, two retired local teachers help with the delivery of the cards. They replenish the shops when the cards run out and complete a lot of the administrative tasks needed to ensure the sale is a success. These helpers, whom Hutchinson describes as her “ambassadors,” are Linda Cornog and Sue Latimer, two West Yarmouth residents who also volunteer at A Baby Center. “All of the shop owners feel the excitement of the whole adventure,” Latimer says of the project. “When they receive the call that the cards are coming, they are very excited. It’s a happy trip for me to deliver the cards.”

For the past 15 years, several groups have also chipped in by paying for the cost of the cards’ printing so all proceeds raised can go directly to the beneficiary. This year, The Hyannis Rotary Club has stepped in to foot this bill. “I am always looking for good people to step forward,” Hutchinson says. “It’s a great project to be involved with.”

Sold in boxes of 15 for $15, Hutchinson’s charity Christmas cards are currently available at The Barn in Dennis, The Potted Geranium in West Harwich, The Gallery at Tree’s Place in Orleans, Titcomb’s Bookshop in East Sandwich, the Happy Fish Bakery in Yarmouthport and other Cape Cod stores. To learn more about the painter, her project, and more locations to buy the cards, visit marieluisehutchinson.com.



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