High tea and high fashion were the order of the day during the Italo-Canadian Club of Kingston’s third annual International Women’s Day fashion show fundraiser on Sunday.
Around 140 people attended the club’s “High Tea for Equity” event at the club’s venue north of the city for an afternoon of fashion, food and drink and appreciation for local women and women in general, marking International Women’s Day on March 8.
The club partnered with Expressions Fashion Boutique to present the fashion show portion of the afternoon and featured a number of women-owned business vendors during the day.
In February, the club put out a call for nominations for its Inspirational Woman Award. Those nominations were opened for voting leading up to the event, and the award winner, Patty Gollogly, was announced during the afternoon.
The event’s keynote speaker, V. Ophelia Rigault, told the Whig-Standard that she would be speaking to the event’s guests about how they can be more inclusive in their daily lives.
“I’m talking about how people in the everyday can be more inclusive and how they can be a leader,” she said.
Rigault pointed out that all women “have experienced inequalities and discrimination of some form” and that this is an important thing to highlight, especially during International Women’s Day.
“We still have a long way to bring equity to women, especially women of different diversities and intersectionalities,” she said. “These women here, we all have privilege and power in some way, so use your privilege and power for good. Be a superhero. I think it’s important that we talk about these things at events like this.”
Rigault said she was very excited about the club’s chosen charity for this year. A portion of the day’s proceeds were donated to Girls Inc. Limestone, a local charity that provides life skills education and mentoring programs for school-aged girls in Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Hastings and Prince Edward counties.
Briana Gordanier is a board member with Girls Inc. Limestone. She thanked the event planners for making Girls Inc. Limestone the charity of choice for this year’s fashion show.
“Girls Inc. programs are researched-informed and provide girls with skills and knowledge to set goals, overcome obstacles and improve academic performance,” Gordanier said. “Our programming is driven by three critical goals: to support girls to lead healthy lives, succeed academically, and to develop the skills necessary to prepare for adulthood.”
Currently, the charity offers in-school, after-school and leadership programs, as well as March Break camps, in Kingston and Belleville.
“Girls are the innately powerful, strong, smart and bold leaders we need for the future,” Gordanier said.
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