Warm clothes, warm hearts focus of Unique Boutique event

MARIETTA — Warmth and work-appropriate fashion can sometimes be at odds on a tight budget.

But thanks to the 33rd annual Fall Unique Boutique, sponsored by the Zonta Club of Marietta, men and women can find a few items to stay warm while at work this season.

“When Bridget was going through chemotherapy and we were flat broke I felt guilty shopping for clothes but I was pregnant and needed to for work clothes,” said Desni Crock, a member of Zonta since 2005, whose daughter battled cancer. “That’s when 90 percent of my wardrobe came from the Unique Boutique. You’d be surprised with how many professional men and women come to our boutique.”

Trousers, blouses, suits, jackets, pants, ties, shoes and bags can all be found at each boutique and next week the women of the club will be collecting more of the same in preparation for this year’s event.

The club is looking for all of the above, in all sizes, gently used and washed prior to donation.

” The purses and shoes are the first to go when we open the doors,” said Keri Dunn, chair of the event. “But we need all sizes of clothing too.”

At the sale, formal wear and men’s suits are the most expensive items at $10, dresses, jackets and coats are $5, skirts, pants, jeans and sweaters are $3, blouses are $2 and sportswear, shoes, belts and purses are $1.

“Many of our members work at the real estate agencies in town,” said Dunn.

That means drop-off of donated items will be coordinated not only in the evening hours but also during the day at some of those agencies.

And with a new, more central location for this year’s boutique at the former Food 4 Less, 110 South Seventh St., there’s more space than ever before to stage all of the clothing.

Zonta volunteers will be accepting donations from Nov. 6 to 9 at the building from 5 to 8 p.m. each day. Then during business hours donations can also be dropped off at: Real Living McCarthy Real Estate, 318 Second St.; Cranston Real Estate, 322 Third St.; Board of Realtors, 324 Fourth St. Suite 200; and Advantage Real Estate 228 Pike St.

“Right now our storage unit is full. The donations we’ve been taking throughout the year are stored in club members’ houses but there’s so much space at Food 4 Less we can take many more,” said Crock.

The sale will begin on Nov. 10 from 4 to 8 p.m. and continue on Nov. 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The “Bag Sale” starts at noon on Nov. 11, where shoppers can fill at plastic grocery bag for $3 and a white kitchen trash bag for $5.

Dunn said the move to Food 4 Less was in response to several requests to move into a more central location that could be accessed by the local bus line.

Boutiques in recent years have been held at the Marietta Township Recreation Center in Reno.

“The money raised will go to support other programs we do which empower women through service and advocacy,” said Dunn.

The event typically raises between $2,000 and $3,000. Other programs Zonta Club members engage in include the recent collection of Days for Girls kits to be sent to Liberia and purchasing rape whistles. The club plans to hand them out at the Marietta Christmas parade with cards noting the national domestic violence hotline number .

“The Days for Girls are a washable menstruation kit,” said Dunn. “The goal is to keep women and girls from losing days at work and school while menstruating.”

Dunn said the club would welcome additional volunteers during evening donation times next week. If interested show up at Food 4 Less between 5 and 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.