Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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February 3, 2013

2nd annual ‘Girls & Dolls’ tea party a smashing success

Every little girl enjoys getting dressed up, having their nails and hair done.

And when you throw in their favorite dolls, it’s bound to be a good time.

That’s the idea behind the 2nd Annual “Girls & Dolls” tea party held at the Kokomo Country Club.

“It gives girls a chance to enjoy a wonderful lady-like atmosphere,” said Sherry Rahl, executive director of Project Access.

All proceeds benefit Project Access, a service program of the Howard County Medical Society and a United Way agency whose mission is to provide access to health care services for qualified, uninsured residents of Howard County.

Doctors donate their time and services to Project Access in fields from neurology to oncology to general medicine. Another portion of the program gives free medication to patients who cannot afford it.

“There are people who do not have insurance, who are out of job, out of work,” Rahl said. “We have more people falling below the poverty level right here in our own community that need this kind of help.”

The program, which serves Howard County, works with more than 100 doctors and 30 dentists in the area.

“This is a nice event for mothers and daughters,” said Dr. Melissa Jarrell, one of several dentists who participates in Project Access.

“I hope next year more girls will come,” said Jarrell.

Throughout the event, moms, grandmas, aunts and friends joined their girls in a variety of activities including face painting, crafts and a beauty station makovers for the girls and their dolls.

“Being with my mom and having fun,” is what Jarrell’s 9-year-old daughter Elizabeth, said was her favorite part of the event.

“And being with friends,” her friend, Susie, 8, said as the girls checked out the array of 18-inch dolls on display.

Pam Wild, president of Project Access, said the program helps about 800 patients yearly.

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