An opportunity to get dressed in Sunday best and enjoy an elegant afternoon tea and fashion show is an even greater opportunity to contribute in a way that will make a lasting difference to the Semiahmoo Peninsula community, organizers say.
Every ticket purchased to Avalon By The Sea’s second annual Fashion Show and Tea this Sunday (June 10, 2-4 p.m., Sanford Hall at Kwomais Point Park, 1367 128 St.) will be a direct benefit to the society’s much-needed work in counselling and providing support services to women battling addictions.
It’s thanks to last year’s successful tea, also held at Kwomais Point Park, that the society is up and running in the community today, said president Janice King.
“It took life after that,” she said. “We raised funds and friends, and eight months after that our women’s centre was open.”
King, who has worked with recovery organizations for the last 25 years in the White Rock area, said the centre, at 101-1548 Johnston Rd., is clearly filling an urgent need in the community.
There are already nine recovery meetings each week, four with child-minding capability, and attendance for each has ranged from 10 to as many as 30 women, she said. It also functions as a drop-in “sanctuary” King said, and plans are to expand into other support services including relaxation and stress management.
The Avalon by the Sea centre, following on the model of successful Vancouver and North Shore Avalon centres, does not focus solely on drug and alcohol dependencies, but also on such issues as anorexia and bulimia.
“It’s for just about any obsessive behaviour,” King said. “If anyone is willing to start a 12-step program for any problem, we won’t turn them away.”
Although the centre is for women only, no such rule applies for the fundraiser, she said, for which fashion co-ordinator and event planner Rhonda McJannet has again organized a winning combination of elements.
As well as sipping tea from donated vintage teacups, participants will see fashions from Anna Kristina Boutique, Melange and Edge, while Sight For Sore Eyes Optical is providing high-end fashion sunglasses for the volunteer models.
Helen Burnham, “founding mother” of the Avalon centres, and Dr. Paul Farnan, an addictions specialist and Avalon Recovery Society board member, will speak at the event, and background music will be provided by local guitarist-instructor Michael Gillette.
“It astounds us every day how much support we are receiving from the community,” said King.
Tickets ($50) are available at the door, with tax receipts issued. For more information call 604-542-7772 or visit www,avalonbythesea.ca