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Posted: 06/04/14

Above, the 3.5-acre private garden will serve as the venue with features such as a fountain, reflection pond, pagoda and zen garden.

(Observer photo by Chris Gray)

Samaritan House raises funds with fashion, food

Observer Staff Writer
      The first-ever Samaritan House Fashion, Food and Flowers Fete invites guests to check out the latest fashions and tasty treats in a stunning garden.
       The event will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on June 8 at the Tapper Gardens in Bruce Township.
       Samaritan House is a non-profit organization in Washington Township that assists families and individuals in northern Macomb County with food and shelter assistance. It receives financial support from 15 local churches, grants and fundraisers.
       Gretchen Monette, Samaritan House development coordinator, said proceeds from the new event will help print the Samaritan House's latest fundraiser, the Joyful Heart cookbook. The cookbook will feature recipes from contributors in their original, handwritten forms.
       "We hope it (the fete) goes over well," said Monette. "We're hoping next year to include more local businesses in the area, other shops and fashion houses and things like that."
       The main spectacle will be a fashion show for summer outfits. Rachel Glenister, who is co-coordinating the event with Amanda Paduch, said the 18 models will vary in age and size, including volunteers from the Samaritan House and the 2014 Romeo Peach Queen Court.
       "Realistically, who wants to see a bunch of skinny girls wearing clothes you probably won't fit into or wear," Glenister said with a chuckle. "We wanted people of all different ages so people can sit back and say `I can totally wear that.'"
       One such model will be local Realtor Mary Rayman, who also volunteers with the Samaritan House.
       "I am super excited to do anything for Samaritan House," said Rayman. "I am looking forward to seeing the newest summer fashions."
       Outfits will be provided by Anna Bella's Closet in Shelby Township and Sole Sisters Boutique in Rochester. The food will be appetizers and desserts taken from recipes submitted to the Joyful Heart cookbook.
       The venue for the fete is the 3.5-acre private gardens of Richard and Carol Tapper. The expansive garden features everything from statues, a pagoda and a reflection pond, to a new zen garden complete with bamboo.
       "We started the gardens as a hobby," said Richard. "I'd been reading about Samaritan House and thought about what a good program Samaritan House runs and thought our gardens are something that could be put to good use to benefit Samaritan House and the community."
       The garden has been featured in the Friends of the Romeo District Library's Garden Walk and has served as a venue for other events and weddings.
       "The Tappers are such a wonderful couple to be thinking of the Samaritan House and help give back to the community with the beauty they've created," Monette said.
       Monette said tickets are limited to 150 and are selling fast. The event will not be held if severe storms roll through.
       Tickets are $25 each in advance and $30 at the door, and include the fashion show, garden tour, food and drinks.
       Call Monette at (586) 336-9956 or visit for more information or to purchase tickets.

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