Tea and a helping hand

"It has all the makings of a classically elegant afternoon. There will be stylish clothes, a lavish tea and a fine collection of quaint birdhouses on auction, all set to the strains of sweet music played on a harp.But Fashion, Feathers and Friends is an elegant afternoon with a totally down-to-earth cause.It's the annual gala staged by the Friends of Home Health Care of Whidbey Island, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Useless Bay Golf and Country Club. It's a fund-raiser, but it's also a chance for the Friends of Home Health Care to spread the word about Whidbey General Hospital's Home Health Care and Hospice program, and the Friends' mission to provide behind-the-scenes help for islanders who need assistance with home health care costs or medical expenses, says Dani Fowler, president of the Friends group.The fashion show, presented by June Dixon of Anacortes, will be a glimpse into her extensive collection of vintage clothing. Ten models will show 20 different coats and hats, complete with period accessories, and Dixon will provide details about the history of the clothes, their owners and their time. The fashions in the Friends' show will be from the early 1900s to 1960s, and will include a traditional racoon coat from the flapper era. Dixon says she has hundreds and hundreds of garments, as well as 600 to 800 hats, and would like to open a museum one day. Her collection ranges from a black velvet cape made in 1902 to a vivid multi-color lavender coat-cape from 1970, and Dixon says that the people who have given her clothing that has been treasured in the family have often given her its history, as well.The music will be by 15-year-old harpist Hannah Wahl of Langley.And a total of 26 unusual birdhouses, many made by Whidbey Islanders and members of the Friends' board, will be sold at silent auction in the course of the day.------------------Where and whenFashion, Feathers and Friends is Saturday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m. at the Useless Bay Golf and Country Club. Tickets for the tea, style show and silent auction are available at the Casual House in Oak Harbor, the Coupeville Pharmacy, Something Special Flowers and Gifts in Langley and Island Tea Company in Freeland. Price: $20 per person ($10 tax deductible contribution). The Useless Bay Golf and Country Club is located at 5725 S. Country Club Dr., Langley. Call 675-0679, 678-7605 or (888) 737-6611. "

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