Greenwood Women's Institute celebrates fall fashions
Sean Chase/Daily Observer Jenna Nieman displays the latest in fall reds during Greenwood Women’s Institute's annual Autumn Tea and Fashion Show held at Shady Nook Recreation Centre.
LAURENTIAN VALLEY - Greenwood Women’s Institute celebrated the season recently hosting their annual Autumn Tea and Fashion Show at Shady Nook Recreation Centre.
The show was one of several fundraising events that supports the institute's endeavours including donating funds to charities local, national and worldwide and their Memory Garden. The institute also sponsors a needy family every Christmas.
The fall event on Oct. 22 featured a dazzling display of fashions presented by area stores, as well as a sandwich lunch and tea. The Greenwood Women’s Institute holds these fashion and tea shows every 18 months.
“Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes women, families and communities,” explained Charlotte Cotnam-Isea, with the tea and fashion show committee. “Our goal is to empower women to make a difference. Our focus is community, however, we see the world as our community.”
History was a prominent theme for the show as the Women's Institute, which has spread worldwide but boasts 3,500 Members in 270 Branches across Ontario, celebrated its 120th anniversary. Established in Stoney Creek, Ontario in 1897, the Women's Institute set out to improve women’s skills in the art of homemaking and childcare. It's founder, Adelaide Hoodless, hoped to bring attention to the dangers of unpasteurized milk after the death of her infant son. She later co-founded the National Council of Women, the Victorian Order of Nurses and the YWCA in Canada.
“She was a major force behind the formation of three faculties of Household Science at universities in Canada,” added Cotnam-Isea. “All of her accomplishments have had a profound and long-lasting effect on Canadian society, and all of these organizations are still in existence today.”
The Greenwood Women's Institute was formed in 1985 after the original branch was moved from Pleasantview. Their 20 members meet monthly and take turns presenting a program that is very diverse. Programming ranges from health related and rural living to inviting guest speakers, who discuss such topics as the arts, truffle-making and travelling. The institute has hosted public speaking competitions, pumpkin growing competitions, dances, and community clean-ups, while promoting lead awareness campaigns and working with Laurentian Valley township to run a Canada 150 poster contest.