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Fashion event benefits local organizations serving children

By Sharee Grazda
Special to The PREVIEW

Women Helping Others (WHO),  a local committee supporting those who contribute to the well being of others, will host the third annual Fashion Weekend, beginning Nov. 7.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the local Rotary clubs’  “Feed Our Children” program, as well as the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters chapter, highlighted in last week’s issue of The SUN.

In 2011, the recipients of the event  proceeds were Pagosa Springs Head Start and the Pagosa Springs Youth Center.”

Last year, three food banks shared over $8,000 from the event.  Local women and other contributors raising money to benefit local needs … that is the what and the why of WHO.

The two Rotary clubs in Pagosa Springs  are beginning their third year of the “Feed Our Children” program.  The intent is to serve families with either third- or fourth-graders at Pagosa Springs Elementary School by providing sufficient food for the weekends to feed all the children in those families.

A majority of our elementary school children qualify for the free or reduced lunch program.   While this program provides essential support for children during the week, the need continues through the weekends.  That is where the “Feed Our Children” program is directed.  By providing nutritious food for children during the weekends, the goal is to have happy, alert and focused children returning to classrooms on Mondays.  The intention is to supplement the wonderful work of the various food banks offered through our community’s churches by providing additional food, targeted to children’s tastes, with little to no preparation needed.

Feedback from teachers, parents and children has been heartwarming.  Parents have told us that this program has, “… made a huge difference because we are no longer stressed about whether we will be able to put food on our table.”

Children, proud to be partners in helping their families, tell us, “… this has been really fun” and that the food selections are “awesome, great, really good.”

Involved teachers are very supportive of the effort, saying that this is, “… so needed.  It is unbelievably important for the health, happiness and ability to concentrate for these children.”

Our community has been incredibly generous in supporting this effort.  By writing checks to the Rotary clubs or donating appropriate food, the people of Pagosa have made it very clear that no child should ever be hungry. The Sisson Library hosts a collection box with a list of foods needed for the program, and the box fills every few days.

Now for the when and where of WHO, and how you can help while having a fun evening with your friends.

Please join us at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Ross Aragon Community Center for the Fashion Show,  featuring the finest fashion and accessory collections from Happy Trails Ladies Boutique.  The evening will include great food, door prizes and opportunities to buy chances to win fabulous clothing, jewelry and accessories, including two $500 gift certificates for Happy Trails.

Tickets are $35 per person, and are available at Happy Trails  Boutique, from any Rotary Club member, from Maggie Ives at 398-0007, and from Sharee Grazda at 731-0317.  Don’t miss this special event.

This story was posted on October 24, 2013.