Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 3, 2013

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

By Mike Fletcher
Tribune staff writer

— 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.

Wild said the event not only helps those in need, but it brings out the little girl in all the women.

“It’s celebrating being a little girl,” she said.

Last year the event raised $1,500 for Project Access and they’re hoping for more this year.

“We expect much more this year,” said Rahl. “We have a lot of high-end items on the silent auction including several hotel packages.”

Along with decking out in their Sunday best, the girls got a chance to learn proper etiquette, fashion and how to be a lady.

“It’s a good way to take their daughter out and show then a good time in a safe atmosphere,” she continued. “There’s not a lot of places they can do that.”

Sponsors for the event include Jarrell Orthodontics, Bucheri McCarty & Metz LLP, Spectrum Photorgraphy, Hoosier AM-FM Radio, Center Township Trustee, United Way, The Wyman Group, Esther’s Place Boutique and Lady Place.

For more information about Project Access, call 765-854-0544, email ED@HCMS

ProjectAccess.org or visit them online at www.HCMSProject Access.org.

Mike Fletcher, Tribune staff writer may be reached at 765-454-8565, or via e-mail at mike.fletcher@kokomotribune.com.

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