Delaware Fund for Women fashion show brings in new founders

May 13, 2018

The Delaware Fund for Women in Sussex County held its 8th annual fashion show at Rehoboth Beach Country Club April 22. More than 200 attendees enjoyed spring and summer fashions by Candlelight Bridal, Cleo’s, Coolspring Cottage, Coral Cove, Deanna’s & Piccolino, Funky Lady, Jane & Georgie, Studio S, Twila Farrell, Vernon Powell and the RBCC Pro Shop. Each boutique, along with Bad Hair Day, Touchstone Crystal and the Rehoboth Beach Yoga Center, provided a raffle item, and many sold fashions and accessories before and after the show. Hair and makeup were provided by Bling Salon and the Cosmetology School at the Delaware Institute of Learning.

The Fund for Women is celebrating its 25th-year silver anniversary. Sussex County Chair Carolyn Strum said since 1993, this organization has grown to include nearly 2,000 founders with an endowment fund of over $3.8 million. Using the interest from the endowment fund held at the Delaware Community Foundation, the organization has awarded over $2.7 million in grants to hundreds of nonprofit programs statewide.

Model and founder Janet Redman said, “I joined the FFW because I want to make my time on the planet matter in any way that I can. By funding opportunities for girls and women in Delaware to succeed in school, business, and life, I know we are making a difference! The fashion show was a time to celebrate what has been accomplished and to step up to the challenge that the future holds.”

Strum explained the key to their success is harnessing the collective giving of women so funds may be used to give grants that meet the needs of women and girls. These critical projects empower women and girls across the state to reach their potential. Children and Families First, a 2017 grant winner, was highlighted by Melanie Stancell, parenting enrichment program manager. She shared how the organization is using funds provided by the Fund for Women to increase the parenting skills of new mothers recovering from addiction. Their work is making a difference as women help other women.

An impressive 39 guests became Fund for Women founders during the event. A commitment to pay $1,000 over five years to the endowment was made by new founders including: Christine Adams, Emilylynn Adams, Eva Adams, Evelyne Adams, Libby Adams, Stephani Adams, Katie Adams, Kay Barnett, Gina Bergin, Phyllis Bloom, Gina Bozzo, Charlene Brockstedt, Mikki Brodstadt, Janet Burke, Gerri Clapp, Kelly Collier, Lisa Conley, Judy Eliassen, Mary Enzler, Sandra Gilbert, Rick Harper, Marjorie Kobrin, Joni LeVine, Sandy Maskell, Stephen Mervine, Mary Ellen Raden, Laura Rimmer, Vicki Stottlemyer, Andrew Slater, Bradley Slater, Carmelina Slater, Curtis Slater, Jasmine Smith, Jerry Strum, Jeanne Torbert, Jennifer Vail, Donna West, Michelle Wingrave and Margaret Workman.

Models showcased on the runway included First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney, Nichole Barnett-Baker, U.S. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, Rep. Ruth Briggs King (R- Georgetown), Barbara Freimuth, Maudie Glore, Kim Hutchinson, Rhonda Lerner, Janet Redman, Angela Showell, Carina Slater, Curt Slater, Evie Slater, Laura Slater, Ginny Smith Morris, Dian Stein, Linda Tobin and Patti Woll. Polly Mervine and Lynn Kokjohn, who coordinated the fashion show, collaborated with boutiques and models. Mervine has been the indispensable force behind the eight annual fashion shows, and she was recognized for her efforts by the state organization in Dover May 10.

This event was planned by the Sussex County Fund for Women Development Committee that includes Chair Carolyn Strum, Vice Chair Kelly Sheridan, Carolyn Cicio, Denise Emery, Suzanne Feaster, Trena Kelly, Kathy Kiernan, Lynn Kokjohn, Jean Lamontagne, Judy Mellen, Polly Mervine, Susan Millard, Cheryl Mitchell, Linda Owings, Debra Quinton and Ginny Smith-Morris.

The 2018 grants were announced May 10 at the Duncan Center in Dover. Driving Force Award winners were recognized including Polly Mervine from Sussex County.

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