A tribute to International Women’s Day

Olympic Cellars, Womanfest and the Clallam County League of Women Voters will join forces in localizing a global observation of International Women’s Day, which is March 8, and in honoring Women’s History Month with three diverse public events, The Gathering on March 5, The Commemoration on March 10 and The Celebration on March 15. The occasions, to be held in Port Angeles and Sequim, are designed to bring together women of all ages to reflect upon and celebrate the economic, social, cultural and political achievements of women.

Continuing a theme of women helping women begun eight years ago with the area’s first International Women’s Day celebration, the three events will raise funds for two charities — one local, the other international.

Peninsula College’s Gifted Individuals Realizing Leadership Skills (GIRLS) summer camp is a four-day nontraditional career exploration camp for 13-14 year-old girls.

Mujeres de Maiz (Women of Corn) Opportunity Foundation is a sewing cooperative of women in six villages in Chiapas, Mexico. The foundation, which is Sequim-based, provides educational opportunities for Mexican women and girls.

“In 2004, the first year that Olympic Cellars hosted an International Women’s Day event, we raised $150 in donations for the GIRLS summer camp,” says Kathy Charlton, owner, Olympic Cellars. “In both 2006 and 2007, donations exceeded $950, with half going to an international charity and half to a local charity. The charities that receive this money are helping women and girls to succeed, sometimes, as in the case of Mujeres de Maiz, by helping them to help each other.”

The events

The Gathering, 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 5, Olympic Cellars, 255410 Highway 101, Port Angeles

The Gathering is an opportunity for women to step out of their busy lives, relax and enjoy the camaraderie of others over homemade soup and bread, and wine (available for purchase by the glass). Opening remarks will be presented by Nancy Newman, local activist and organizer of Port Angeles’ first International Women’s Day Celebration. Karen Brown, director of the GIRLS camp, will discuss the camp’s impact on the lives of local girls, and Womanfest board members Molly Rivard and Martha Rudersdorf will give a PowerPoint introduction to the Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation. Entertainment will be provided by the Olympic Peninsula’s Sequimarimba band. Suggested donations of $10 will support the GIRLS camp and Mujeres de Maiz. Olympic Cellars will donate 25 percent of the proceeds from wine sold by the glass to the charities. For more information, contact Olympic Cellars at 452-0160.

The Commemoration

A tribute to the lifetime achievements of Hazel Wolf, 5:30 p.m. social and dinner, 6:30 p.m. program, Monday, March 10, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church hall,, 525 N. Fifth Ave., Sequim

Stories of the life and accomplishments of Hazel Wolf, activist and founder of 26 Washington state chapters of the Audubon Society, will be recounted by Wolf’s daughter Nydia Levick, of Port Angeles, and granddaughter Ann Sargent, of Sequim.

Wolf, who died in 2000 at the age of 101, exemplifies the difference that a single person can make in society. A casual chili dinner will be available. Suggested $7 donation will support the GIRLS camp.

For more information, contact Clare Manis Hatler at 683-6967 or Diane Nelson at 417-2889.

The Celebration

An evening of music and literature, 7 p.m. Saturday, March 15, Port Angeles City Council Chambers, 325 E. Fifth St., Port Angeles

The husband and wife team of Jim Stapleton and Diana Bigelow will present a selection of original stories and songs from their recently released CDs “Sanctuary Reflections” and “Return to the Sanctuary.” The performance is a fundraiser for the premiere production of “Women Without Men — A Fable of Modern Iran,” a play adapted by Diana Bigelow from a novel by Iranian expatriate Shahrnush Parsipur. There will be three performances, Aug. 1-3, in Webster’s Woods Art Park at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center.

Exact Change, an eight-woman ensemble from Port Townsend led by Leslie Lewis, will perform three- and four-part choral arrangements from jazz to pop to classics, and a cappella selections.

Writer and poet Mary Lou Sanelli will read from her recent book of essays, “Falling Awake, An American Woman Gets a Grip on the Whole Changing World One Essay at a Time,” which was selected as “one of the most fabulous 2008 Northwest titles,” by Seattle writer/reviewer Leslie Thomas. Sanelli is also the author of six poetry collections. For more information, contact Rhonda Karls at 681.7738 or Molly Rivard at 452.0160.

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