Zonta Unique Boutique to offer deals this week

MICHAEL KELLY The Marietta Times Barb Casada places a dress on a garment rack as Christine Lisk and Sandy Moore work in the background in the Marietta Township Recreation Center on Monday evening. The Zonta Club of the Mid-Ohio Valley members were getting the room ready for the club's spring Unique Boutique.

Racks of clothing were filling up Monday evening as five women sorted incoming donations in the Marietta Township Recreation Center. Skirts, dresses, sweaters, shoes and even some men’s wear went out on display.

The spring Unique Boutique opens Friday afternoon, offering hundreds of professional and casual clothing items at irresistibly low prices. Formals, dresses, business suits for women are sold at $5 to $10, purses, spring and summer wear, coats, accessories and jewelry, all in good condition, are waiting for the right owner.

The event is held in spring and fall by the Zonta Club of the Mid-Ohio Valley, an organization that for 40 years has dedicated its efforts to advancing women in society. The club provides scholarships and education services and helps support EVE, Inc., a Marietta nonprofit that provides support to victims of domestic violence.

“When the doors open, there’s usually a line of 75 or 100 people, and we’re busy throughout the two days,” said Christine Lisk, a Zonta member. “It really gets busy on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m., when we hold the bag sale.”

The boutique, she said, generally raises around $2,500, which helps the club support scholarships and service projects.

Desni Crock, the club president, who’s been with the organization for 15 years, said the scholarship program continues to broaden.

“We do scholarships every year for women attending Washington State Community College, and we also give scholarships to women in aeronautics, women in public affairs, and we’ve just started a new one for women in technology,” she said. “Our motto is serving and empowering women and girls.”

Lisk said it takes about 20 or 30 club members and volunteers to organize the boutique, and the club depends on donations to make it work. Clothing and accessories are being accepted at the township hall Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and anyone who has questions can contact her at 740-376-9330.

The boutique is the club’s primary fundraising effort during the year, Crock said.

“It supports these programs, functions and services. We give them as needed,” she said.

Crock said her dedication to the club originates in part from personal experience.

“I was raised by a single mom, and although I’m not a single mom, I have two very strong women I’m trying to raise,” she said.

Cindy Oxender, a teacher and member of Marietta City Council, said the clothing sale itself is a benefit.

“For me, a single mom on a budget, I was especially grateful for the boutique,” she said. “My daughter had a lot of scholarship interviews, and she wore clothing we got there to speaking contests, interviews, a lot of different things. It helped her look very professional, and we did it on a shoestring budget. She got a suit by Talbot, a Calvin Klein dress that carried her through a lot of formal presentations in college. She wore a jacket she got there to her law school interviews.”

Oxender said the boutique is an ideal place to shop for people who are in transition into an occupation that needs a professional business look.

“It’s a great way to start a new career,” she said. “And what a blessing, because the proceeds go to accomplish more good work.”

The Unique Boutique by Zonta Club of the Mid-Ohio Valley

•What: Sale of low-priced professional and casual clothing.

•When: 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

•Where: Marietta Township Recreation Center, 260 Sandhill Road, Reno.

•For information: 740-376-9330.

Source: Zonta Club of the Mid-Ohio Valley.