7B Women making a difference

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—Courtesy photo Members of the 7B Women Committee pose for a picture at the recent summer clothing swap. Pictured are Alice Sloane of Washington Trust Bank, Jenn Markwardt of Sandpoint Title Insurance, Kim Diercks of Columbia Bank, Patty Hutchens of Sandpoint Living Local, Sherri Lies of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Gina Hall of Alliance Title and Escrow, and Jesse Wurm of Selle Valley Construction.

SANDPOINT — Empowering women to succeed. That is the mission of 7B Women, a committee of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce. And with that goal in mind, the committee’s chair of community outreach, Alice Sloane of Washington Trust Bank, organized a summer clothes swap to benefit Priest River Ministries Advocates for Women.

The end result was a huge success, much to the delight of the committee and Rhonda Encinas, director of Priest River Ministries Advocates for Women.

“We chose this nonprofit because of the important work they do to help women who are victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse,” said Sloane. “Although they have been around a long time, they just opened a Sandpoint office in May and are providing support to many in our community.”

The summer clothes swap was held at the Bernd Barrel on June 16. Approximately 80 women attended. For a $10 entrance fee, attendees were allowed to peruse the collection of clothing and accessories and take that which they wanted at no charge. Donations of clothing were accepted prior to the event and Sloane and her committee members worked hard to press and present the clothing for a fun shopping experience for all who attended.

The clothing and accessories that remained were donated to Priest River Ministries Advocates for Women. “We are so grateful to Denise Alveari for donating the space and hosting this event at the Bernd Barrel,” said Jenn Markwardt of Sandpoint Title, also a member of the committee. As the site of the former Coldwater Creek retail store and Wine Bar, the Bernd Barrel provided a perfect venue to sip a glass of wine while shopping.

But like anything, it takes more than a committee to make something happen. It takes community support. Jesse Wurm of Selle Valley Construction shares that the donation of clothing racks by Schweitzer Alpine Racing School, cloth shopping bags by the Bonner County Daily Bee, hangers from Nu-Way Drycleaners and advertising by Blue Sky Broadcasting and Sandpoint Living Local all were instrumental in making the event a success.

“In the end we raised nearly $1,100 to help support the mission of Priest River Ministries,” said Wurm. “It’s an incredible community in which we live.”

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