Decorate for a Difference, hosted by Fairfield Inn & Suites Chattanooga East (Hamilton Place) will be held on December 3 from 5:30 – 7 PM. Spend an evening celebrating the Holiday Season the old-fashioned way, decorating ornaments, eating delicious baked treats, stringing popcorn and listening to the sounds of the season. The best part is it’s all for a terrific cause! A silent auction featuring several local hotel getaway packages, local attractions, artisanal items, and sought-after gifts are up for bid. There will be a raffle, holiday entertainment, a selfie station, and of course decorating ornaments. The ornaments are purple, a nod to the Lupus Foundation’s color. You may choose to decorate Fairfield’s tree or take the ornaments home with you. All proceeds from the night’s event will go to The Lupus Foundation, Midsouth Chapter, which helps local patients suffering from the disease.
Lupus affects nearly 5 million people, mostly women of childbearing age, and overwhelmingly women of color. This includes Fairfield Inn & Suites Chattanooga East team member Kenyetta Bray. Bray, who has survived the disease for nearly five years, has been active in the Lupus community. She says there’s a lot of misinformation about Lupus out there. “People think it’s like AIDS. It’s not contagious,” says Bray. “Maybe because the words ‘autoimmune’ are in it? It’s very misunderstood.”
Sales Coordinator Kate Johnson and Guest Services Manager Leslie Watkins organized Decorate for a Difference to bring awareness about this little-known disorder. They’re hoping the fundraiser will bring much-needed funding to the local Lupus Foundation (Midsouth Chapter), too. The foundation helps those, like Bray, who need support, while funding research for new treatments and possible cure. “There’s no cure for Lupus,” says Bray, “but there is treatment…drugs…that help control the pain. My life has been a rollercoaster since I was diagnosed with this disease.”