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Zonta, PACE, to hold Cape’s first ‘Love That Dress’ fundraiser for At-Risk Girls

By Staff | May 17, 2018

Cape Coral will get its first “Love That Dress” fundraiser for the PACE Center for Girls, thanks to Zonta International.

The event is set for Thursday, May 24, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Gulf Coast Village.

The public is welcome contribute with “gently used dresses” as well as a small donation.

This will be the first Love That Dress event hosted by the Cape Coral chapter of Zonta International, which meets monthly on women’s advocacy initiatives.

Cape Coral Zontians operate as part of the international mission working throughout the world to address critical issues faced by women, including equality and violence. The group seeks to advance the political, economic, social and educational status of women by partnering with local organizations that provide meaningful services to women and girls.

Collaborating with PACE Center for Girls was a no-brainer for Zonta.

“We are a service club. We are here to do things that benefit our community,” said Lois Welsch, vice president of the Zonta Club of Cape Coral. “We’ve decided we would focus on three nonprofits in our community that benefit women in education and healthcare. PACE, ACT and Lifeline Family Center all fit within our mission statement of empowering women worldwide.”

PACE is a not-for-profit intervention and prevention program in Lee County providing an opportunity toward a better future for at-risk young women and girls through education, counseling, training and advocacy. First chartered in 2007, PACE now services approximately 103 women annually who are at risk for academic underachievement due to underlying issues such as:

* foster home placement

* substance abuse (by girl or family member)

* domestic violence

* incarceration of a family member

* neglect

* physical/emotional/sexual abuse

* grief

* emotional health concerns

* low income, and more

The average age girl PACE serves in Lee County is around 15.

If you would like to learn more about PACE Center for Girls, they will be holding a presentation about their work during the Love that Dress event, where one of the PACE girls plans to share her testimony.

The event, which will be attended by local leaders and influencers as well as women rights activists in the community, is open to the public. There will be wine and cheese in the banquet room donated by Gulf Coast Village, as well as opportunities to win gift baskets donated by local spas and restaurants.

Zontians ask those who attend to make a $5 donation to PACE with a “gently loved” dress donation or a $10 donation to PACE without a dress donation.

All of the dresses donated during the event will go to PACE’s annual dress sale, which is how the organization raises much of its funding.

Donations are tax-deductible and will be used toward PACE’s overall mission of improving the quality of life to young women in Lee County.

Gulf Coast Village is at 1333 Santa Barbara Blvd.

For more information, email Andrea.Zonta@outlook.com.