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Raising money for cancer: $5 shop comes to town

The Masquerade $5 Jewelry and Accessories Sale will last for the remainder of the week. The entire front lobby of the Crenshaw Community Hospital has been transformed into a one-stop shop. Journal Photo/Scott McLendon

By: Shayla Terry

During the spring and fall, Dwayne McMahan brings his $5 Jewelry and Accessories Sale to the Crenshaw Community Hospital, and this week kicks off his third year.

A member of the Masquerade Fundraising, McMahan launched his sector after 25 years with the Ricoh Company.

“One of my very best friends worked for a company that did fundraisers for hospitals,” McMahan said. “I told him when I got 25 years with Ricoh, I would come do this, and that’s what I did.”

More than five years later, McMahan, a Tennessee resident, travels throughout Alabama popping up with his shop. His best friend, Carlos,  had developed the Alabama market well enough that there was opportunity for him to run his business throughout the region.

“When I stepped into it, probably half of the hospitals that we service now were already developed,” he said. “I try to pick up additional hospitals along the way. They let us do it because it is a fundraiser for the hospital.”

Masquerade mainly services hospitals. Proceeds from the pop up shop will go on to benefit Relay for Life on behalf of the Crenshaw Community Hospital Relay team.

“We’ve always used them for years and years for our project,” said Bonnie Trotter, director of patients at the hospital. “This project always does really well for the Relay for Life team.”

McMahan says the Masquerade Company is able to make profits from the relatively cheap price point because of their purchasing techniques.

“Instead of me buying 100 watches, you have 50 teams buying 5,000 watches,” he said. “It’s all under one name, so we get discounts for buying huge volumes. We buy really expensive costume jewelry that most people can’t buy because we buy in volume. We probably buy more than Wal-Mart.”

Although McMahan says that 99 percent of his work is with hospitals, he sometimes ventures to other territories.

“I do the Van Braun Center in Huntsville at Redstone Arsenal constantly,” he said. “Its closed to the public, but it’s always a great opportunity for us.”

McMahan’s $5 Jewelry and Accessories Sale moves throughout the state from January until June, when he takes a break for the summer. He cranks back up in late July and works the remainder of the year.

“The best part about this job is the people,” McMahan said. “You get to meet a ton of people, and 99.999 percent of them are cool. It’s a fun job.”

The shop will be open in the lobby of the Crenshaw Community Hospital on Thursday, June 1 from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Friday, June 2 from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.