Nikki Carlson Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
A group of about 20 local club members brainstormed an elegant Victorian-style gathering for the community and raised $6,400 in the process for the Hi-Line Sletten Cancer Center on Saturday, Sept. 6, surpassing their $5,000 goal. The Thursday Morning Walking/Coffee Club hosted the Color Me Hope Remembrance Tea at the St. Jude Parish Center. Despite the gloomy weather, about 160 women attended dressed in cheerfully dressy attire for the first-time event. "It went very well it was very well attended. We raised twice as much as we had originally planed," said club member Lela Patera. "I've had a lot of positive feedback from the public. It was something that they enjoyed." Seventeen tables seating eight each were arranged by club members and set with fine china from members' and friends' own homes. Club members also donated food and prepared and served a four-course meal that tickled the taste buds of the sold-out crowd. Guests excitedly awaited their meals and none seemed disappointed. They dined on apricot-ginger and cranberry- white chocolate scones served with Devonshire cream, lemon curd and preserves as appetizers, followed by a chicken curry cup. And the delicacies just kept coming. The entree included finger sandwiches of cucumber diamonds, tricolor ribbons, ham and pineapple triangles and shrimp mousse baguettes. The menu of desserts offered petite remembrance cream wafers, razz-ma-taz bars, chocolate caramel thumbprints, date apricot bars and mini chocolate cupcakes. Coffee was also served, and, of course, an assortment of flavored teas with milk and flower-decorated sugar cubes. While guests dined in high style, they were entertained by Mary Stevens who played a selection of whimsical harp music, and the Faithful Flutes. Local artists' work was on display throughout the room. Guests purchased close to 300 personalized stars in memory of loved ones who had battled cancer or currently undergoing treatment. The stars were hung on the Remembrance Tree. Club member Karen Vosen said the club hopes to display the tree at the Hi-Line Sletten Cancer Center. Vosen added that $315 was raised at the fundraiser from the personalized stars. Vosen made and donated a Color Me Hope Remembrance Quilt that was won by Lorraine Larson at the event. The colorful quilt featured tiny cancer symbol bows in a Square on the Fence design. The quilt raffle raised $602. The quilt will be on display at the east end of Sears in the Holiday Village Mall during Havre Festival Days on Sept. 19 through 31 at the Hi-Line Quilt Guild's Annual Quilt Show. Thrivant Financial for Lutherans donated $1,500 of matching funds to the community fundraiser, as well. Club members and their friends knitted more than 50 chemotherapy caps for patients at the Hi-Line Sletten Cancer Center. Patera said the making of caps will be an ongoing project for the Walking/Coffee Club. Vosen, who has been with the club the longest, has made chemo caps for the Great Falls Sletten Cancer Center for several years. The 31-year-old club meets every Thursday morning at a designated location for coffee. Members used to walk for an hour in any kind of weather before sipping down their morning coffee. Patera said the Remembrance Tea was an idea that stemmed from a couple of members who had participated in a similar fundraiser for the Red Hat Society. The club took the idea and made it into a fundraiser for the cancer center. Patera said plans for the tea began in March or April. "It's a lot of work, especially when everything is donated by us," Patera said. "But it was fun." "It went terrific. We've had rave reviews on it since," Vosen said Tuesday. "We went far beyond what we thought we would. We thank the community for supporting us in our endeavor. We couldn't have done it without them coming out and enjoying the afternoon with us. I think everyone had a great time." The Northern Montana Health Care Foundation has been given close to $950,000 to date for the Hi-Line Sletten Cancer Center. Northern Montana Hospital Director of Marketing and Public Relations Gina Barker said a Benefit Wine Gala at the Montana State University- Northern Student Union Building on Nov. 1 is the next cancer center fundraiser in the works.