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Charity Tea draws fancy hats, lacy gloves

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Each table centerpiece for the 15th Annual St. Vincent de Paul Charity Tea on April 21 will have a personalized touch created by committee members, left to right, Angela Matney, Laura Bossingham, Marla Comstock, Pat Barley, Ronda Meriwether, Debbie Stroup, and Gail Zauss. Committee chair Joan Knight, background, paired cups and saucers that the ladies find throughout the year at thrift stores, rummage sales and auctions to prepare for the Tea.
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Centerpieces like this one may be purchased at the15th Annual St. Vincent de Paul Charity Tea on April 21.

By LUANN MASON - For The Shelbyville News

Dust off those fancy hats and find some white lacy gloves if you’d like. It’s time for the St. Vincent de Paul Charity Tea.

The 15th annual event will begin at 1:30 p.m. on April 21, in the Parish Hall next to the St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 4218 E. Michigan Road. Doors will open at 1 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance at $20 each. They are available until they are sold out in the downtown Shelbyville businesses of Three Sisters Bookstore and Sanders Jewelry, or from various tea committee members, including Gail Zauss, 765-525-9789.

The money generated from ticket sales and sponsorships this year will be given to the newly active Society of St. Vincent de Paul Shelby County, a charitable organization operated through the volunteer leadership of lay members from both St. Vincent and St. Joseph Catholic Church parishes in Shelby County. The Society was established to serve those in need throughout the county regardless of religious affiliations, race or national origin.

This year’s event speaker, county native and St. Vincent parishioner, Marsha Apsley, will share how she went from being a painfully shy and self-conscious girl to now sharing her story on a public platform. Apsley will explore what she thought she was supposed to do in life and how God had a different plan.

This past September, she published “40 Days of Faith and Fitness,” a devotional that will take readers on a journey of themselves through God’s eyes.

Apsley also published a 6-week Study Guide to Building a Healthy Life and Foundation of Faith earlier this year in her quest to help women live fit and free.

New to this year’s benefit is a quilt raffle, again with proceeds going to the county’s Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Single tickets may be purchased at the tea individually for $5, or five tickets for $20.

According to Marla Comstock, a charity tea committee member, the local Bear Paw Quilter’s Club crafted the quilt that was donated by the Rosenfeld family in memory of Mark Rosenfeld.

“His sisters are avid quilters, so they donated it to the tea,” said Joan Knight, charity tea chairman. The Rosenfeld sisters include Pat Rosenfeld, Carol Shaw, and Peggy Jacobs, all of Shelby County, and Connie Bergman of southern Indiana. “It was originally in a Cancer Research raffle in Shelby County.”

Mark died last March from throat cancer.

In addition, the tradition of offering a silent auction will continue with at least 30 items. Funds generated from the auction, according to Knight, provide payment for the tea’s food.

Sponsorships for a $100 fee are still being accepted and will be acknowledged in the event’s program. Checks are payable to St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church to the attention of tea committee members Knight or Debbie Stroup, according to Knight.

For a tax-deductible donation of $25, she said tributes could also be made to a loved one. They, too, also will be listed in the Tea program. They may be mailed to Charity Tea, in care of Tammy Jones, 2717 S. Riley Hwy, Shelbyville, IN 46176. Include the name of the loved one, your name and address, and if the donation is in honor of the person or in memory of them.

At least 10 women from the church plan the Charity Tea each year ­– Knight, Zauss, Jones, Comstock, Stroup, Debby McLeod, Pat Barley, Laura Bossingham, Rhonda Meriwether and Angela Matney. A theme is selected in either January or February to kick-off plans for the following year’s Tea.

More than $30,000 has been raised and donated to various not-for-profit, charitable organizations in Shelby County during the history of the teas that started in 2003, Knight said.

“Last year was our biggest year with $5,500 given to Clarity (Pregnancy Services).”