The Woman’s Club of Colorado Springs’ annual fundraiser luncheon and fashion show was its biggest yet, selling out for the first time — with a waiting list — and raising a record-breaking amount of money to support local nonprofits.

Attendees gathered at Colorado College’s historic Bemis Hall Oct. 23 for the club’s “A-Tisket-A-Tasket” fundraiser luncheon and fashion show, raising $10,000 to support seven Pikes Peak region nonprofits, including Early Connections, The Gazette Charities-El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund, Home Front Cares, Meadow Park Community Center, Partners in Housing, the Ronald McDonald House and Safe Kids.

The club’s support of these and other nonprofits is how the Woman’s Club of Colorado Springs honors the “Unity in Diversity” motto of its mother organization, The General Federation of Women’s Clubs.

“We work locally to create global change,” WCCS President Elaine Brush said in her opening remarks. “Women have a way of empowering movements.”

“Our organization provides more service than money to these nonprofits,” said event co-chair Harriet Tuckman, who joined the club in 2014. “I think the biggest significance of our club is the service we provide. We physically do things for these organizations. Our fundraiser is really significant because it gives us funds to do things for them — in small amounts, but those small amounts tend to really help.”

Guests bid on opportunity baskets and enjoyed a fashion show featuring models from these nonprofits. Models wore ethically made fair trade fashions sold at Frayla Boutique in downtown Colorado Springs. The women around the world who produced the apparel were paid a fair, livable wage for their work, said Frayla Boutique owner Tina Schwaner.

The event also included the presentation of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Western States Region Jennie Award to WCCS member Pam Bruni for her outstanding community service. The award was presented by GFWC Colorado Federation of Women’s Clubs President Theresa Rudder.

Event emcee Birgitta DePree of the Millibo Art Theatre, in boisterous character as “Babette,” explained to the crowd the mission of each of the event’s featured nonprofits, and said women make a difference in their communities.

“When you give support to women in the community, that’s when everything changes. … When you give (money) to the women, they buy food, they pay for education. Women change the world,” DePree said.

WCCS member Marilyn Feaster said seeing a full house at the event was moving.

“Birgitta summed it up so well. It’s women coming together to really support one another, and these organizations need our funds and they need our volunteer hours,” Feaster said.

All proceeds from the event will support these local nonprofits.

Diane Bell, who has been a WCCS member since 2005, said she was touched by the response of the community who made this the most successful event of its kind. “Over the 15 years I’ve been a member, I’ve seen so many women getting involved (in their community). … We are here for one reason, and that’s community service.”

Editorial Assistant

Breeanna Jent is a multi-beat journalist who joined the Pikes Peak Newspapers staff as its editorial assistant in 2018. She has lived in Colorado Springs for four years and enjoys reading, spending time with her family and dogs, and exploring Colorado.

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