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Fine feathered friends

"Fashions from the past - along with a fine collection of birdhouses to be sold at silent auction - will be featured at the Friends of Home Health Care tea on Saturday, Sept. 30. Friends' president Dani Fowler, seated, will model a feathered hat and a blue 1960s-era coat with white lace applique. Sandy Martenson, left, wears a 1930s coat with a full fur collar, plus a feather-trimmed hat; and Linda Bruner's outfit, from the 1940s, is a coat with a black Persian lamb collar topped with a dramatic veiled hat.June Vigor/staff photoFashion, Feathers and Friends is Saturday, Sept. 30, 2 p.m. at the Useless Bay Golf and Country Club. Tickets for the tea, style show and silent auction are available on the Southend at Something Special Flowers and Gifts in Langley and Island Tea Company in Freeland. Price: $20 per person ($10 tax deductible contribution). Call 888-737-6611.It has all the makings of a classically elegant afternoon. There will be stylish clothes, a lavish tea and a fine collection of quaint birdhouses on auction, all set to the strains of sweet music played on a harp.But Fashion, Feathers and Friends is an elegant afternoon with a totally down-to-earth cause.It's the annual gala staged by the Friends of Home Health Care of Whidbey Island, held this year at Useless Bay Golf and Country Club on Saturday, Sept. 30.It's a fund-raiser, says Dani Fowler, president of the Friends group, but it's also a chance to spread the word about Whidbey General Hospital's Home Health Care and Hospice program and the Friends' mission to provide behind-the-scenes help for islanders who need assistance with home health care costs or medical expenses.The fashion show, presented by June Dixon of Anacortes, will be a glimpse into her extensive collection of vintage clothing. Ten models will show 20 different coats and hats, complete with period accessories, and Dixon will provide details about the history of the clothes, their owners and their times. The fashions in the Friends' show will be from the early 1900s to 1960s, and will include a traditional raccoon coat from the flapper era. Dixon says she has hundreds and hundreds of garments, as well as 600 to 800 hats, and would like to open a museum one day. Her collection ranges from a black velvet cape made in 1902 to a vivid multi-color lavender coat-cape from 1970, and Dixon says that the people who have given her clothing that has been treasured in the family have often given her its history as well.The music will be by 15-year-old harpist Hannah Wahl of Langley.And a total of 26 unusual birdhouses, many made by Whidbey Islanders and members of the Friends' board, will be sold at silent auction in the course of the day.The mission of Home Health Care and its FriendsHome Health Care and Hospice has been providing in-home services to Whidbey Island since 1982 for people who have medical problems that essentially confine them to their homes. In 1999, more than 793 patients and families received services.The Friends of Home Health Care, established in 1984, provides assistance to Home Health Care and Hospice patients and families who need services but can't afford it. Besides providing money to help pay for home health care and other out-of-pocket medical expenses, the Friends also pay for a year of bereavement and spiritual care for families who need it following a death. In 1999, the Friends provided assistance to 145 patients and families on Whidbey Island. This year they expect to serve over 180 families. For more information about Home Health Care, call 321-6659. For information about the Friends of Home Health Care, or to volunteer to serve on the board, which meets four times a year, call 360-675-0679. "

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