Group plans old-fashioned tea party

Published 8:34 pm Friday, July 23, 2010

The Suffolk Chapter of Les Gemmes Inc. hopes that it will establish a tradition this evening, with its first Midsummer Night’s Tea.

The organization is hosting its first tea party from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight at the East Suffolk Community Center. The cost is $15, and all the proceeds will go toward the organization’s scholarship fund.

“In the Victorian days, ladies would come together in the late afternoon to have tea and discuss the ongoings of the day,” Les Gemmes scholarship fund chairperson Joyce Garretson said. “Our tea will be similar and help us raise more money for our scholarship fund. If it does well, we’ll hopefully make it a tradition.”


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The tea will feature finger sandwiches, pastries and desserts and a speaker.

In 1955, four women from Norfolk founded Les Gemmes as a civic, social and savings club. It has since expanded its mission to stimulate “health, education, economics, arts, recruitment, retainment, technology and youth.”

The group has been in Suffolk for at least 30 years, Garretson believes.

Each year the group awards a $500 scholarship to a student, but by doing more events, such as the tea, Garretson hopes to expand its giving.

“We want to help students who aren’t valedictorians, but that show promise,” she said. “It’s to help students who are struggling. It’s not a big scholarship, but even if it covers a book or something it can help them focus more on their studies than on having to work. It can add up for a student.”

There is no dress code for the tea party, but Garretson said she will be wearing her hat.

For more information, call 404-5798 or 334-5098.