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Mary Bulllwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

Seeking to improve the lives of women and girls, Soroptimist International of Eel River Valley held a successful fundraiser last weekend. Sips for Soroptimist, the 11th annual Tea and Wearable Fashion Show, was held at Fortuna's River Lodge Conference Center.

Artists included Dale Pifer of Hats by Dale. She has been sewing for 60 years, and each hat is a one-of-a-kind and authentic to historic fashion design. She credited her mentor Ruth Stockley for learning the old-fashioned “art of millinery,” and she has been passionately making reproduction ladies hats for about 45 years.

Diane Samuelson of Moonshadow Design started selling her jewelry at local crafts fairs about 10 years ago. She described her jewelry making as “an exercise in playing with color, texture, and balance of the shapes of the beads.”

Rachel Carlson of RHC Sewing creates contemporary, tailored and casual garments, in natural fibers. She also teaches and sews at Eureka Fabrics.

Kathy Crossman of Fortuna sews vintage clothing from the 1890s to the 1940s to meet the needs of automotive enthusiasts. She is also apprenticing with Dale Pifer in the art of millinery.

Jackie Hamilton of It's Sew You enjoys repurposing thrift store finds into creative new garments.

Models at the event included Kendra Cardinale, who owns her own business and also works at Precision Intermedia.


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She is also the PR director of Eagle Prairie Arts District, with a goal of bring art into the business district in Rio Dell.

Humboldt State University Theater major Queena Isadora DeLaney was another model at the event, along with Connie Osburn, a certified hypnotherapist and author of “Banana Slug Pie,” a collection of silly poems for the 4- to 8-year-old audience.

Lunch was provided by the Fortuna High School culinary class and included chicken and cucumber sandwiches, scones, breads and muffins, ginger cookies, lemon cookies, and the tea that was served.

The event also included a Dutch auction and a live auction, with including a South Africa safari, salmon fishing trip, and Sun River, Oregon vacation trip

Proceeds from the fundraiser will support Soroptimist activities including the Women's Opportunity and Violet Richardson awards, shoe box and school backpack projects, and a book project, which for the last 17 years has donated library books to schools in the Eel River Valley.

Photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

Soroptimist International Eel River Valley held its annual Sips for Soroptimist fund-raiser on Feb. 10.