Sunrise Family Resource Center Mother's Day fundraiser

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On 5, Belart, the wholesale, Fair Trade, Bennington-based jewelry company, founded in 2006 by Tulianna Garces and her late mother-in-law Cecilia Noguera hosted a Mother's Day Fundraiser for Sunrise Family Resource Center at the Deane Carriage Barn at Bennington College.

Profound respect for the individual and for collaborative work that benefits societies and creates security and peace, are values the two organizations have in common. Sunrise's Mission to connect families with community resources, provide educational experiences and build relationships that promote independence and resilience, meshes neatly with Belart's values.

Early this Spring, Garces and her daughter Alejandra, who joined the company in 2010 and designs her own jewelry line, Aleja Jewelry, suggested that Belart would like to honor mothers by hosting a Mother's Day fundraiser for Sunrise. Alejandra — a graduate of Bennington — asked the college for the use the Carriage Barn for the event.

Notwithstanding the 50 mile per hour winds and cold rain on Friday night, the entrepreneurs and artists of Belart along with staff and board members from Sunrise set up a large bazaar of exotic, stunning and affordable jewelry, and hosted an elegant party. Savory treats were donated by Brian Darr and Maeve Webster of the South Street Cafe and by Madison's Brew Pub; wine was provided by the Sunrise Board of Directors. Door prizes of lace filigree bracelets were awarded to two lucky winners.

Throughout the evening Sunrise alumni and former board members, and friends of Sunrise and Belart, tried on bright-colored earrings made from Tagua, dramatic necklaces and bracelets made of resin, and metal cuff bracelets engraved with lines of poetry. There was something for everyone, even the youngest guest, Reverie Starkie-Kreuder, age 7, left wearing a rose-colored resin heart with flecks of gold on a thin gold chain.

The fundraiser was the product of a community collaboration: artisans, entrepreneurs, local food purveyors, a social services organization: a microcosm of the world right here in Bennington.

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