Holiday gifts offered by merchants at block party

“We’ve been doing the open houses for 57 years,” said Gina Phillips, third-generation owner of Adelaide’s, who has organized the event for several years. “It was like a birthday for us in the beginning, but it has turned into an open house.”

This year’s event emphasizes charity, with participating businesses on the 7700 and 7800 block of Girard Avenue donating a percentage of the day’s sales to a charity of their choice.

Businesses involved include Adelaide’s, The Ascot Shop, Bo Danica, Bulfer’s Fine Jewelers, Burns Drugs, Meanley & Son, Muttropolis, My Place French Bistro, Warwick’s and Euro-Comfort Footwear.

Adelaide’s will be donating event proceeds to the San Diego Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. A portion of The Ascot Shop and Bulfer’s proceeds will go to La Jolla High School Foundation. Warwick’s is giving to the San Diego Chapter of the American Cancer Society. Other benefiting charities include Children’s Hospital Foundation, Scripps Polster Breast Cancer Center, Project Concern, Pathfinders of San Diego Rehabilitation Center and Training Education & Research Institute for the developmental and learning disabled.

Adelaide’s charity choice has special significance to the family-run business. Harry Phillips, son of the company’s founder, is suffering from the debilitating disease.

“It embodies the true spirit of giving and the holidays,” said Gina Phillips. “All of the other shops participating totally embraced the idea of supporting a charity near and dear to their hearts.”

Muttropolis pet store is donating a portion of its proceeds from the day to the Spay Neuter Action Project.

“They’re a local animal welfare organization that works to reduce pet overpopulation,” said store owner Janet McCulley. “They also help for low-cost spay and neutering. They’ll also be bringing adoptable dogs and cats.”

The holiday event traces its history back to 1949, when Adelaide’s Florist first opened its doors after relocating to the Jewel. Today, the event draws up to 7,000 visitors and marks the official kickoff to the holiday season in the Village.

Businesses involved will provide food and refreshments, as well as hold store drawings, book signings and demonstrations. There will be strolling musicians, and the La Jolla Country Day Madrigals choir will furnish live entertainment starting at noon. There will also be red roses provided to ladies. Each of the retailers involved will be decked out in holiday finery.

Phillips said other businesses joined the flower shop in hosting the event after the first 10 years. Many of the Village’s longtime merchants, like Warwick’s, Burns Drugs, the Ascot Shop and Meanley & Son approached Adelaide’s about joining in the affair and making it a block party.

“Our block is so ignored,” said Phillips. “It seems people strolling and buying things (on Girard) stop at Silverado. We thought it would be fun - when White Rabbit closed down and Muttropolis came in - to give them the opportunity to join.”

This is the third block party for Muttropolis. McCulley’s store will furnish treats for both two- and four-legged guests. She considers the holiday celebration to have something for everyone.

The event begins at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12, and continues to 4 p.m. For more information about the community holiday event, call Gina Phillips at (858) 454-0146.