September 15: Knitting Guild Fashion Show
Posted on 9.1.12
Story by EMILY FOLEY | Photos by KRISTI SIPION
As the Smoky Mountain Knitting Guild (SMKG) prepares for their fourth annual benefit fashion show on the afternoon of September 15, bighearted knitters will craft a wide array of garments, ranging from handbags to hats and menswear to children’s wear. All proceeds go to support the Good Samaritan Clinic of Haywood County, which provides physical and mental health services to those would otherwise not be able to afford them.
“We teach knitting, hold retreats twice a year and every year we have done a fashion show for organizations here in our county who need contributions,” DeEtta Pace Eberhardt, board member of SMKG and the Good Samaritan Clinic in Haywood County. “The last two years’ profits have gone toward the Good Samaritan Clinic in Haywood County and has made an impact on the patients and caregivers.”
In four years, SMKG has accumulated approximately 80 members with beginning to expert knitting skills. In addition to knitting for the annual fashion show, SMKG also provides year-round services.
“We love to go to schools to teach classes on knitting, as well as to knitting ministries in the county that welcome enthusiasts of all skill levels,” shares DeEtta. “Often we’ll make shawls and sweaters for patients, baby hats for children, and clothes and blankets which we donate to clinics, hospitals, social services, and schools in the area.”
Founded in 1999, The Good Samaritan Clinic is based out of Canton (with another location in Waynesville). Today, they provide care for 2,500 patients seeking primary mental and physical attention.
As executive director of the Good Samaritan Clinic, Donda Bennett stresses the vital services the clinic offers to those struggling in Haywood County.
“Patients at our clinics are adults between the ages of 18 and 64 and below the federal poverty level. We often see patients who are uninsured in Haywood County and need the financial help,” Donda explains. “Currently, there are almost 11,000 adults in the county without health insurance. The Good Samaritan Clinics works to provide a safety net for 2,500 of those struggling our community.”
Of the Good Samaritan Clinic’s patients, 70 percent are employed; however, many are self-employed while others do not work enough hours to apply for benefits.
“Our focus is to take care of the working folks. About 85% of our patients suffer from chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and COPD. We help people to find specialized care, as it can be extremely hard to find access to health benefits (especially in those special cases) if you are uninsured,” Donda says.
The “Four Seasons” Fashion Show, presented by the SMKG and MusicWorks, will be held Saturday, September 15, at the Hart Theater in Waynesville. Arrive at 2:00 p.m. for a dessert buffet, wine bar, Chinese raffle, and performance presented by MusicWorks called “Sound of Music” ballet. Tickets are $25 dollars and available in advance by phone.
DeEtta sums up the passion and mission behind SMKG: “Knitting is an enjoyable way to give back to the community. It is why our members are so devoted to raising money. We all meet people, everyday, who are struggling to make ends meet. Our patients work hard at your local restaurants, retail stores, and various important services and deserve our help in return.”
The Hart Theater is located at 250 Pigeon Street in Waynesville. To purchase, call 882.246.4651 before 5 p.m. and 828.691.8409 evenings. For more information, call 828.400.4545.