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‘Always a Bridesmaid’ fundraiser to assist Kathleen Mary House

Get ready for the biggest wedding celebration of the year in Hamburg. Well, sort of.

For the third consecutive year, Comfort Zone Cafe and Expressions Flower Shop, both of Hamburg, are holding the fundraiser, “Always a Bridesmaid. Never a Bride.” This will be held on Saturday, April 27 from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Hamburg Knights of Columbus, 36 Pierce Ave., with proceeds to benefit the Kathleen Mary House.

“The ticket price includes dinner and dancing,” said Cindy Barrett, owner of the Comfort Zone Cafe.

There will also be a Chinese auction featuring plenty of gift baskets.

At the heart of the night is a chance for those attending to enjoy a part of their past and find old bridesmaids dresses, tuxedo’s, old ties and other fun clothing items to enjoy a great night out, while helping a good cause, said Jeanie Hackenmiller, owner of Expressions.

“We do have a prize for best dressed,” Barrett said, adding there are also winners chosen for worst tie and worst dressed to enhance the fun.

“The DJ is fantastic. It’s like a wedding reception,” said Barrett, noting that it is without an actual wedding.

The DJ will be Zach Munger of T.N.T. Sound System, who will be there from start to finish.

Barrett said the idea started a few years ago. She and Hackenmiller, who are both friends and business owners, began discussing ways to give back to the community.

When they first started coming up with an idea in 2009 of who to help, they decided to hold a fundraiser for the Kathleen Mary House, who opened its doors in 2006.

“This is a transitional home for women and children of domestic violence,” said Hackenmiller. “Not many people (at that time) were aware of the home.”

Barrett agreed this was the ideal organization to assist because it is both an important issue and 100 percent of the money raised would remain in the community.

Barrett joked that she thanks her daughter for being the one who helped come up with the theme. She said her daughter, who is now married, had a closet full of old bridesmaids dresses at that time, and from there the idea for a “Always a Bridesmaid” party was born.

It proved to be a success. One that they said people who attended have had a lot of fun with.

“Every age was wearing different dresses,” Hackenmiller said.

“Through the ages,” Barrett said, adding she saw a woman come in a peasant dress, which was popular in the early 1960s.

“The Kathleen Mary House was a good place to put our efforts,” Barrett said.

Hackenmiller, a member of the KMH Board of Directors, said there are other fundraisers put on by the organization throughout the year, including the Night of Laughter, and the Fashion Show. They hold this fundraiser as well because although the Kathleen Mary House is a not-for-profit organization, it does not receive Federal money, so they rely on fundraising efforts to help run the home.

Barrett and Hackenmiller are thankful to the many people and businesses who have donated baskets for the fundraiser.

“There are very generous people in the business and private sector,” Barrett said.

Hackenmiller said the Kathleen Mary House is important for women and children who suffer from domestic violence. It allows the victims to get the counseling they need and help “get them launched again.”

Barrett said she is also thankful to the many volunteers, including from the Comfort Zone, who assist with the fundraiser.

“It’s all done on a volunteer basis,” she said.

Tickets cost $15 presale or $20 at the door. The cost includes dinner, dessert, cookies, soft drinks and coffee. There will also be a cash bar available.

Tickets are available to purchase at Comfort Zone, 17 Main St., and Expressions, 59 Main St,
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