‘High Fashion and High Tea’ party in Corolla raises money for local organizations

Published 5:03 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A crowd gathered at the Currituck Club for the 9th Annual High Fashion and High Tea party on Tuesday afternoon, April 30, raising money for charities and having a delightful time doing it.

The event was sponsored by the Corolla chapter of the Extension and Community Associations, under the umbrella of NC State Extension program. The 36-member volunteer chapter raises a significant amount of money each year to help fund programs like the county-sponsored Operation Santa, Food for Seniors programs, 4-H summer camps, Operation Backpack, Lower Currituck County Food Bank, The Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Corolla Chapel’s international students support, the “Good Neighbor Fund,” Corolla Fire & Rescue, Carova Beach Volunteer Fire & Rescue, and The Water’s Edge Village School in Corolla.

“There’s a lot of poverty,” said the volunteer chapter’s president, Marge Searing, who has helped to lead the event for the last seven years. “It’s a big-time give back.”

Get the latest headlines sent to you

The fashion show and tea party is the group’s major fundraiser of the year. Searing said the Corolla chapter also funds one to two months of the lunch program that provides meals for needy children on the weekends.

“You feel really good about it,” Searing added. “On top of that, it’s so much fun!”

Fun it was indeed.

About a hundred women and a few brave men attended the party, dressed in spring attire. Beautifully set tables were arranged outside under a sun shade that let in the cool afternoon breeze.

After a time to peruse the silent auction items or purchase a beverage from the full bar, guests made their way to the tables, where a small gift was waiting on each plate. Lovely floral centerpieces, made by Donna Keel, were arranged inside a tea pot on each table.

The organization has very little overhead, Searing said in her welcome. “Ninety to 95% goes right out the door for community needs. So you can feel good about the dollars you’re spending, and I hope you’re spending a lot!”

After some raffle prize winners were announced, high tea was served on three-tiered trays.

“Your mission is to finish those towers of food!” Searing announced with mock seriousness. The tea included several types of tea sandwiches, warm scones, fresh fruit, cookies and variety of flavors of macarons and sweet treats. And, for the first time, Searing said, the tea actually included tea! Unique china tea cups were set out with an array of tea bags to choose from.

The fashion show commenced after the tea, with design coordinator Raine Lins emceeing. Lins wrote a charming description of each outfit. Five women of various ages and body types modeled two outfits each – one casual and one “beach formal,” complete with shoes, hats, jewelry and purses.

Models this year were Amber Segessenman, Cindy Stinson, Dee Stegall, Sage Sundin and Wendy Kelly. All fashions were provided by Mustang Sally’s. Makeup and hair services were provided by Eden Day Spa.

New this year, the show included men’s fashions. John Brady and Phil Sundin had perhaps too much fun modeling clothes from The Currituck Club Pro Shop.

“They need to look good while they’re golfing,” quipped attendee Tammy Koontz.

The afternoon wrapped up with the announcement of the silent raffle winners, and a warm thank you to all the volunteers and sponsors who made the event successful.

Core event sponsors were The Currituck Club and the Peggy Ward Estate, and the presenting sponsors were Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales, TowneBank, and The Cottage Shop and Kellogg Supply Company. In addition, more than 75 businesses and individuals donated to stock the abundant silent auction, which included gift items, artwork, personal services, tours and overnight stays.

“They are beyond generous,” said corporate sponsor coordinator Jess Lombardi.

Through the continued generosity of businesses and individuals, the Corolla chapter of the Extension and Community Association can help to give back to the community they love so much.