Midwest Food fundraiser celebrates local fashion

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March 17, 2015 8:15 AM

Part of this year's Midwest Food Resources Fundraiser at The Root: Community Emporium included a fashion show featuring changing styles from the 1920s to 1960s. From left to right are fashion models Megan Watier, Linda Blais, Janet Bruining, Venus Bernard and Zoie Bernard

Donating to charity is always in fashion.

The annual Midwest Food Resources (MFR) ladies night fundraiser was held at the Root: Community Emporium on March 11. Organizers say approximately $1,500 was raised at the event, and the funds will go towards MFR healthy eating and cooking programs for adults and children. The evening featured a potato bar, a silent auction and a fashion show.

“Thank you all for coming and supporting the programs here in Lloydminster,” said MFR executive director Debbie Bonsan from the stage in her opening remarks. “We’ll probably be starting to eat in a couple minutes. How many of you are hungry?”

Servers weaved their way through the room, delivering baked potatoes with all the fixing to the hungry attendees. Almost every seat in the restaurant was occupied.

“The potatoes this evening are local,” Bonsan said. “That’s why we chose the potato bar, so we could be true to our values of supporting local, healthy, yummy food.”

Along with championing locally grown food, the fundraiser celebrated homegrown fashion and jewelry as well.

“The person who actually developed this fundraising event ... also had a second job working at a local clothing store,” Bonsan said. “So I guess they were talking at work the one day and she said, ‘Why don’t we do a fashion show?’ And it’s been a really great hit.”

After dinner, guests were treated to a fashion show orchestrated by Spruce Lake-based seamstress Deanna Hendriks. She collects vintage old clothes and vintage sewing patterns for her business, Era Apparel, and her models displayed clothing styles from the 1920s to 1960s. As they strode through the room, Hendriks gave history lessons explaining the origin of the fashions, while period music played in the background.

“I’ve been volunteering with Debbie for the (MFR) for probably four years now just to help in any way I can,” she said. “I hosted a second-hand clothing fashion show a couple of years ago and then last year we featured the clothing of a local lady and then this year Debbie said we should do something.”

Hendriks says a lot of local nonprofit organizations are run by women and it’s important to hold events that focus on women in the community and acknowledge their contributions.

“It really is special because life’s so busy and unless you have a really great excuse to just stop, slow down and get together with your girlfriends, it just doesn’t happen on its own anymore,” she said. “Ladies don’t gather for tea and coffee like they used to, they really don’t. So it’s a good excuse to dress up and come and socialize and support what other women are doing.”

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