Pearls of Port Stephens and Tea Gardens Hotel celebrate International Women’s Day 2023 with a Luncheon and ‘Buy My Wardrobe’ sale

Mother of Pearls founder Kathy Gillespie (right) and Pearls Treasurer Kerry Patterson (left) at the Buy My Wardrobe fundraiser sale.

INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day was celebrated on 8 March this year, with a special ‘Buy My Wardrobe’ pop-up charity sale run by local ladies’ group the Pearls of Port Stephens, and an entertaining luncheon hosted by the Tea Gardens Hotel.

All proceeds from ‘Buy My Wardrobe’ and $10 from each meal at the Luncheon went to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

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“The pop-up sale was busy throughout the day, with people coming from all around, and more than 30 women attending the luncheon,” Ms Kathy Gillespie, group founder and ‘Mother of Pearls’ told the NOTA.

“Today’s ‘Buy My Wardrobe’ pop-up is a win for charity and for recycling, as all items have been donated by locals,” added Pearls Treasurer Kerry Patterson, AKA ‘Pedal Pearl’, one of several alliterative nicknames in the group that reflect the ladies’ interests.

“Since the Pearls began in 2013, we’ve raised $40,000 for various charities and causes, including the Rural Fire Service, domestic violence organisations, individual kids with illnesses, the Country Women’s Association, and the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI),” Ms Gillespie declared.

“We have also sponsored water wells in a village in Africa, which the village kids all benefit from,” said Ms Patterson.

Ben Hanson, publican at the Tea Gardens Hotel, was thrilled to have the Pearls set up their fundraiser in the Dolphin Room at the Hotel.

“We are a great supporter of gender equality, and have had many female managers and supervisors at the Hotel,” Mr Hanson told NOTA.

Mr Hanson, who hosted the luncheon, got into the spirit by donning a silk kaftan from local producer Silk Island.

The luncheon included a dance-off, raffles, games and a charity auction of Mr Hanson’s starring kaftan.

The Tea Gardens Hotel also donated several bottles as prizes at the auction.

The ‘Buy My Wardrobe’ event and the Hotel Luncheon combined raised $3800 for the Breast Cancer Foundation.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

The Pearls of Port Stephens (centre group) with Publican Ben Hanson at the International Women’s Day Luncheon at the Tea Gardens Hotel.

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