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Fashion show crucial to women's centre

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Tickets still are available for the upcoming dinner and vintage fashion show fundraiser that will be vital to the future of the new Fort Frances Women's Centre.

Tickets for the event, slated for Friday, April 13 at La Place Rendez-Vous, cost $50 each, which are available at “Melinda's Unique Boutique" (330 Scott St.) or by searching Eventbrite.ca for "Vintage Fashion Show and Fundraiser.”

“This is the fundraiser that's going to make or break us,” stressed Monica Sus, the lead volunteer at the women's centre.

“If this does well, it's probably going to pay part of the rent for the rest of the year,” she noted.

Sus said the balance of the rent comes from Melinda Wickstrom, owner of “Melinda's Unique Boutique,” as well as the entrepreneurs who rent cubbies at the centre to sell their wares.

“This is a one-shot thing so we keep this place going for the year, and that's why we want it to be good,” she explained.

The April 13 fundraiser will feature a silent auction. In addition to buying a ticket and attending the dinner and fashion show, Sus said individuals and businesses are welcome to donate auction items.

Likewise, anyone who can't attend the event, but would like to financially support the centre, always can make a monetary donation.

To donate, drop by the centre or call Sus at 271-2839.

The women's centre has seen a heartening amount of patronage and support since first opening its doors March 8.

It sees an average of 20-30 people coming through its doors daily, either to visit, make donations, have a cup of tea, or check out the merchandise sold by “Melinda's Unique Boutique” and the other vendors there.

“We just have people coming and out all of the time,” noted Sus.

For example, a woman handmade two cushions and donated them, leaving it up to the centre as to whether they wanted to sell them or keep them to make the sectional sofa that much more comfortable.

Then RBC staff dropped off a donation of water bottles.

“Somebody else this morning just dropped off two blankets, somebody else dropped off canned goods,” noted Sus.

"And then somebody else drops by who needs something.

“That's just the way it is all day," she remarked. ”Some people give and some people get; they're in and out.

“We've had people drop off shampoo and things, and then we've had girls who need those things,” Sus said.

The centre also is getting together sets of household items like dishes and glasses to give away to those who need them, and will be trying to always have two sets on hand to be able to help women in need.

The public is reminded the centre is run entirely by volunteers.

There are no paid positions, and all monies are put back into the community or the centre itself to keep it afloat.

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