199: Island Zonta Club Joins Fort Myers Zonta at MADE by US
Island Zonta Club Joins Fort Myers Zonta at MADE by US
Sanibel Islander Newspaper, Dec. 3, 2011
Zontians from Sanibel and Fort Myers turned out in force at the recent MADE by US Fashion Show, Sale and
Benefit held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers. The well-attended event featured fashion
designers, crafts people and women with small food and catering businesses. There were 22 vendors in all.
After shopping, visitors were treated to a fashion show and speakers including Christa Hicks from Beauty from
Ashes (a faith-based organization ministering to victims of the sex industry), Yaro Garcia from ACT (Abuse
Counseling And Treatment Inc., a service provider for survivors of domestic violence), Dr. Genelle Grant from
GRACE (Guatemalan Rural Adult and Children Education), and Nola Theiss from HTAP (Human Trafficking
Awareness Partnership Inc. HTAP combats human trafficking by educating young people, while GRACE is a
UUCFM project dedicated to improving the lives of Guatemalan women and their families through education.
Marta Matias, a mother of three who cleans houses for a living, was one of more than a dozen vendors selling
everything from crocheted and woven tops and shawls to hand-painted women’s golf gloves. Matias was recently
the subject of an article by Amy Bennett Williams in the
“[She] sits in a molded plastic chair creating – or recreating – the flora and fauna that filled her childhood in rural
Guatemala. With needle, thread, tiny beads and polished gems, she fashions necklaces, key chains, earrings and
more,” Bennett Williams wrote.
Canvasses painted by area students for HTAP’s ARTREACH project were on display at the event. ARTREACH
is designed to educate local children about the dangers of human trafficking through art and theater.
The event was the brainchild of Sanibel resident Gari Grant Lewis, who for years dreamed of putting on an event
that showcased the talents of women. “It was always my intention to someday feature and showcase fashions
designed and sewn by women,” Grant Lewis said. Also featured was jewelry made by the PACE Center for Girls,
another Zonta partner.
Grant Lewis and her sister, Dr. Genelle Grant, director for GRACE, had talked extensively about putting on an
event that would raise awareness surrounding projects combating violence against women. The idea crystallized
when she became a member of the Zonta Club of Sanibel/Captiva and a team member for the club’s service
partner, HTAP, Grant Lewis said. Both HTAP and GRACE are service projects funded by the Zonta Club of
Sanibel/Captiva.News-Press highlighting her Mayan crafts and fashion.
“All in all, it was a big success,” Grant Lewis said. “We can give nice donations to GRACE and HTAP. The
vendors did well and sold items. The people who attended were able to buy some nice and unusual handmade
holiday gifts. We are certain to make this an annual event.”
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