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Annual YWCA event has a new name and a new location

November 11, 2012
By JOE SUTTER, , Messenger News

This year the YWCA annual Holiday Showcase will be a bit different. Called the Silver Showcase, it has a new location, new hours and more formal attire.

"It's similar to what we've done in the past, but we're making it more of a formal holiday gathering," said Sally Kraayenbrink, event chair.

The event is a way to celebrate the season, buy some holiday goods and support the YWCA.

"All proceeds, of course, help provide the resources we need to run the homeless shelter for women and children here at the YWCA," said YWCA Director Ann Davidson.

Instead of a weekend event in the Trolley Center, this year's showcase will be one night, 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Wahkonsa Lobby, 927 Central Ave.

The Fort Dodge Senior High culinary class will provide hors d'oeuvres for the evening, and beverages will be available.

Fact Box

At a glance:

WHAT: YWCA annual Holiday Showcase fundraiser

WHEN: Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Saturday; live auction begins 8 p.m.

WHERE: Wahkonsa Lobby, 927 Central Ave.

TICKETS: $10 per person

ATTIRE: Black tie optional

A silent auction will begin when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. The live auction is at 8 p.m.

For sale will be decorated Christmas trees, wreaths and tablescapes.

"There will be what we call tablescapes," Davidson said. "A number of people have put together the flatware, the dishes, the tablecloths, the whole nine yards. You can bid on that as a table setting."

Other auction items include Adirondack chairs, restaurant gift cards, gift baskets from hair care to pet care and an iPad mini.

Kraayenbrink said the Wahkonsa is a perfect setting. Several people have told her they've never been there.

"When it was suggested to us, we went to take a look at it and it's just a beautiful lobby area. It's been renovated. It will be a perfect setting for a festive holiday gathering," she said.

As part of the event, a holiday gift shop will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Vincent House. The shop will feature trees, centerpieces, wreaths and holiday decor, said Amy Seehusen, chair of the gift shop committee.

Local businesses helped decorate the shop, Seehusen said, and will have items on display.

The Silver Showcase was planned to complement other events around town, Davidson said.

"This year YWCA worked with the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance and the Fort Dodge Area Symphony to put together a more comprehensive 'welcome to winter' type thing. We're calling it 'Silver Bells in the City 2012,'" she said.

The gift shop will also be open an hour before and after the GFDGA holiday tree lighting on Nov. 26 and the Downtown Divas' Ladies Night Out on Nov. 27, and from 3 to 6 p.m. for the Fort Dodge Area Symphony concert on Dec. 2.

The YWCA has been doing this fundraiser for close to 20 years, Davidson said.

This is the biggest of the YWCA's three major annual fundraisers, she said. The wine and cheese tasting in May usually brings in $6,000 to $7,000, and the Kate and Pete Nelson Golf Classic in August about $7,000 to $8,000.

"The Holiday Showcase is the largest of our events. Some years we have made as much as $25,000 to $30,000. Other years it hasn't been quite so good," she said. "With the decrease of grant money available in the state to help fund programs like homeless shelters, it is important."

Every $100 brought in can pay for eight nights for a woman and child in the shelter program.

The program focuses on giving women the resources they need to make it on their own and helping them find a job, Davidson said.

"You have to recognize we're the only shelter for 60 miles. There's lots of demand for the services we provide."



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