One thing several of the women who attended the Swanky Hanky in the Treehouse event at The Vineyard at Marion Lake can agree on is the appreciation they have for the Perham community. This event, which was held on the evening of Thursday, June 10 at the vineyard's treehouse, was planned to raise money for Kids Adventure Preschool.

Becky Muston, one of the event's organizers, said the money they were raising was to be used for incidentals teachers pay for with their own money. This includes snow pants, other winter gear, birthday treats, snacks, lunches, supplies and even extra clothes for children if they have an accident.

"It helps take a load off the teachers," said Kids Adventure Preschool coordinator and teacher, Amy Kimball, who was also attending this event.

This money was raised through ticket purchases and a raffle.

The director of Kids Adventure Preschool, Amy Kimball (end of table, standing) speaks to everyone before the light lunch at the Swanky Hanky in the Treehouse event on Thursday, June 10. (Elizabeth Vierkant/Focus)
The director of Kids Adventure Preschool, Amy Kimball (end of table, standing) speaks to everyone before the light lunch at the Swanky Hanky in the Treehouse event on Thursday, June 10. (Elizabeth Vierkant/Focus)

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Along with the raffle, this event offered food and drinks for all who attended. Muston described this as a light lunch. Water and sangria were served to attendees. There were also two courses of petite tea sandwiches and six different desserts that were handmade by members on the committee of the fundraiser.

Muston said the organization of this event started with her and some friends hearing teachers talk about how difficult it was to buy these extra needed supplies themselves. From there, Muston and friends planned the fundraiser. One member of the committee brought some of her grandmother's old hankies to give to the ladies who attended, hence the fundraiser's name.

"People actually listened (when we talked about teachers' struggles)," Muston said. "They said, ‘Gosh! What can we do?’ And we said, ‘We can do this.’ We said, ‘Let’s just start and do something small, and then if we can do a little thing, then someone else can do a little thing.’"

Items for the raffle were on display on a table at the Swanky Hanky in the Treehouse event on Thursday, June 10. (Elizabeth Vierkant/Focus)
Items for the raffle were on display on a table at the Swanky Hanky in the Treehouse event on Thursday, June 10. (Elizabeth Vierkant/Focus)

Kimball said this means a lot to her. She's in awe with the community and how helpful Perham always is when anybody is in need.

"It’s touching," she said. "(Teachers would pay for these supplies) anyway, but it’s so nice to have a community that wants to invest in kids."

While, Muston said, she and her friends had raised money for Perham Health in the past, this was their first fundraiser for a school. They started planning it in April when they talked about doing something for teachers through donations and winged it from there. Afterward, everything ended up coming together.

"I feel blessed and thankful to live in this amazing community," Kimball said.