Soroptimists Phyllis Curington-Brown and Angela Colson address a crowd estimated at more 200 during the annual Soroptimist International of Idyllwild Basket Festival, now in its 35th year held at the Buckhorn Camp on Oct. 23. Photo by Jay Pentrack
The Basket Festival hosted by the Soroptimist International of Idyllwild club at Buckhorn Camp last Wednesday evening attracted an estimated 200 guests. “This is our 35th year hosting this event and it keeps getting bigger and better,” said President Phyllis Curington-Brown. “The support and donations from the community have been tremendous.”
Curington-Brown has lived in Idyllwild for 27 years, and been a Soroptimist for four years. “The Soroptimists are an international organization; we even have a representative in the United Nations,” she said. Soroptimist International is the largest classified women’s service organization in the world with 3,000 clubs in 100 countries. Projects undertaken by the organization include the Soroptimist House of Hope, an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center for women in the desert and Banning areas, free meals to the community during the annual basket festival, collections of food and other donations for the Idyllwild HELP Center, scholarships for women continuing their education at Mt. San Jacinto College or College of the Desert, and many other projects that benefit women and girls.
More than 115 businesses and individuals donated items that were collected into nine themed baskets. Raffle tickets were sold prior to and at the event for $5 each or five for $20; purchasers could select from any of the nine baskets and drop in as many tickets as they purchased towards the basket(s) they hoped to win.
Winners and the corresponding baskets were: Ginger Dagnall, Starbucks basket; Michelle Browning, Spa and Fitness basket; Denise Selby, Disneyland basket; Pam Seffonn, the Travel and Leisure basket; Linda Garcia, Kids, Family and Pet basket; Vicky Jakubac, Mountain Gardens basket; Ann Finch, Girly-Girl basket; Reba Coulter, Gourmet Kitchen basket; and Robert Haney, Mountain Living basket. Suzi Schumacher, Soroptimist treasurer, said, “The baskets are valued from $600 to $1,600. We had some really amazing donations — everything from trips to spa packages to fine dining. We’ll be able to do some wonderful projects with the money we raised.”
Denise Selby, winner of the Disneyland basket, was happy just to make a donation to such an important organization. Asked what she thought about winning, Selby exclaimed, “I’m going to Disneyland.”
Category: Art & Culture