Fashion Event Raises $4,500 for Food

At the end of the show Julie Jo Fehrle dances with the models on the runway. Photo by Shiloh Eaton

At the end of the show Julie Jo Fehrle dances with the models on the runway.
Photo by Shiloh Eaton

by Shiloh Eaton
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, April 5, 2018

With its wide open space and high ceilings, the glass greenhouse at Mainescape was transformed into a runway-style fashion show March 30.

The event, organized by Julie Jo Fehrle, Maxfield Y. Rhine, and Abigail Jakub served as a fundraiser for the Tree of Life food pantry in Blue Hill and also drew attention to its sister thrift store, TurnStyle.

The models—ranging in age from 5 to 85—walked down a runway in front of a capacity crowd. All were from the Blue Hill Peninsula, and all wearing outfits that either came from the TurnStyle or were later put on sale there.

As a surprise to co-organizer and fashion enthusiast Rhine, Fehrle arranged for two people to attend the event to impersonate well-known fashion editor Anna Wintour and designer Karl Lagerfeld.

Money from clothing purchased at the TurnStyle directly benefits the Tree of Life, and the fundraiser served in exactly the same way.

With hundreds of people visiting the food pantry weekly, the nonprofit has been part of the community for three decades. “No-one in our community should go hungry and that is why we are gathered here tonight,” said Sarah Pebworth as the event started.

As the first Blue Hill fashion show, the event was deemed a success by organizers. The show had an estimated 250 attendees, and raised $4,500 for the food pantry. Local shops and businesses donated a variety of food and refreshments, which was available at the event.

“We are all wiped out and tired” said Rhine. “We enjoyed everyone’s support and excitement for the show though. Personally, I would love to have another fashion show.”

Read More

Fashion Show to Benefit Food Pantry

 Blue Hill residents Julie Fehrle, a set designer, and Max Rhine, a Harbor School freshman, scout fashions from the TurnStyle Thrift Shop for their fashion show. The show, which will be held Thursday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m. at Mainescape Garden Center on South Street, will benefit the Tree of Life Food Pantry. PHOTO BY JENNIFER OSBORN


Blue Hill residents Julie Fehrle, a set designer, and Max Rhine, a Harbor School freshman, scout fashions from the TurnStyle Thrift Shop for their fashion show. The show, which will be held Thursday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m. at Mainescape Garden Center on South Street, will benefit the Tree of Life Food Pantry. PHOTO BY JENNIFER OSBORN

 

By Jennifer Osborn
originally published in the Ellsworth American, March 16, 2018

BLUE HILL — Two of Blue Hill’s most creative denizens are producing a fashion show at the Mainescape Garden Center greenhouse on Thursday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m. to benefit the Tree of Life Food Pantry.

“I love the idea of doing a gala in Blue Hill,” said Julie Fehrle. “I love the TurnStyle, I always find great stuff there.”

Models will wear fashions from the TurnStyle Thrift Shop, the sales from which have funded the food pantry’s purchase of food.

Fehrle is a set designer for TV and film by trade. However, she’s currently doing art installations worldwide for artist Ara Starck. She’s also remodeling Wendy Hayes’ shop MAE on Main Street in Blue Hill for the upcoming season.

Her fellow producer is Harbor School freshman Max Rhine, who aspires to a career in the fashion industry.

“I didn’t know him before this,” Fehrle said. “He emailed me out of the blue based on a friend’s recommendation. He said ‘I’ll do anything you’re doing.’ Then when I met him, I realized how much he’s into fashion.”

Fehrle said she’s dreamed of doing an event like a fashion show in Blue Hill for years. Since Rhine wanted to do a project with her and she’s been working out of town, the fashion show took shape with Rhine’s leadership.

“I think he’s learning a lot about diplomacy and organization,” Fehrle said. “I think he’s learning a lot about what it takes to organize something of this size. I could not have done this without him. It’s also interesting because the Harbor School encourages this kind of learning. He has discovered how fun it is to shop there too.”

Rhine said Fehrle “has an incredible atmosphere of creativity around her.”

“She is always coming up with new ideas for the fundraiser that we’re working on,” he said. “It’s been incredibly fun and exciting working with her and I’ve learned a lot from her.”

The pair has recruited peninsula residents of all ages to model. High school students will be modeling outfits they chose from the TurnStyle last weekend.

Local residents will model outfits from their closet that they no longer wear. Those fashions will be donated to the thrift shop after the show.

“A lot of the stuff that gets donated they can’t keep because it’s not in good condition,” Fehrle said.

“A huge part of it is taking the stigma out of buying thrift, number one, and also educating the public about that thrift store,” Fehrle said. “The other thing for the kids, it’s affordable. Your money is feeding one of your neighbors, basically. I think that’s another important part of it.”

Past Tree of Life Board President Judi Hilliker said on average the pantry provides food for about 215 families or 600 to 700 people every week.

“We spend about $130,000 on food in a year and two-thirds of that money comes from sales of donated clothing in the TurnStyle,” Hilliker said. “The rest comes from grants and donations.”

The fashion show, which includes a dance party and refreshments, is for all ages.

Volunteers are still being recruited as well as refreshments. For more information about helping, email fashionbluehill@gmail.com.

Read More

Fashion for a Cause Event Graces Mainescape Greenhouse

by Faith DeAmbrose
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, March 22, 2018

Julie Jo Fehrle and Maxfield Y Rhine in front of the Mainescape greenhouse, the site of a planned fashion show on March 29. Photo courtesy of Julie Jo Fehrle

Julie Jo Fehrle and Maxfield Y Rhine in front of the Mainescape greenhouse, the site of a planned fashion show on March 29.
Photo courtesy of Julie Jo Fehrle

It’s high fashion in Blue Hill as local residents Julie Jo Fehrle and Maxfield Y Rhine transform the Mainescape glass greenhouse into a fundraiser that turns clothing from the TurnStlye into food for the Tree of Life food pantry.

Much like its mission, the Tree of Life food pantry in Blue Hill uses proceeds from its sale of used clothing to help purchase food. Fehrle and Rhine, a student at the Harbor School, are taking this concept one step further to produce a fashion show that will highlight items that were either purchased from the TurnStyle or are about to be donated.

The March 29 event will showcase approximately 30 volunteer models ranging from age 5 to 85, said Fehrle, who said she has wanted to do an event like this for some time, but it wasn’t until she was approached by Rhine hoping to plan an event, that it begin to take shape.

Fehrle said the event has grown to include students from area schools as well as members of the community who have had after-hour access to the TurnStyle to choose and purchase their runway outfits.

The event serves as part “cabin fever reliever,” said Fehrle, but it is also meant to raise awareness about all that Tree of Life does in the community. “We also wanted to take away any stigma associated” with shopping at a second-hand store such as TurnStyle. “It was great for the students to see how much fun and how far their money goes” at the store.

Read More

Oddfellows donate potatoes to Tree of Life

From WABI.  View Video.

BLUE HILL, Maine (WABI) – “These potatoes that we’re getting now will probably last us in distribution through February, which means that’s less money that we have to spend for potatoes, and we can spend it on other kinds of food,” says Judy Hilliker, Board President for the Tree of Life Food Pantry in Blue Hill.

For the last five years, this group who calls themselves the “Oddfellows” has made it their mission to take care of those in need…by collecting potatoes. “It’s easy for us to do. It’s quick. It’s one day out of our work schedule to go up there and pick up 10,000 pounds and bring it here and these folks down here appreciate it,” says David Gulya, Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Maine.

Every year, they collect potatoes from the County and deliver them to the Tree of Life Pantry in Blue Hill, which serves an area they say could really use a boost. “There’s hungry people here on the Peninsula. Jobs are hard to find now and you know the winter time, the cost to live in Maine is high because of heating costs and snow plowing and everything that goes along with winter, so you know everyone could use a little boost of food in the winter time for sure around here,” says Danner Curtis, Secretary of the Blue Hill Lodge.

These truck loads of 50 pound bags of potatoes will be distributed to area food pantries this winter. Judy Hilliker, Board President for the Tree of Life Food Pantry, says this donation comes at a crucial time. “A lot of people don’t realize how much food insecurity there is in Maine. Right now, we are running about 15% of the population who have times of the year when they don’t have enough food or have enough money to buy food, and I think that’s something that people don’t always see.”

For the folks at the Grand Lodge of Maine, they live by three words: Friendship, Love, and the Truth. By making this donation, they feel like they’re living up to their mission. “To see the look on peoples faces when they sit down and have a meal that they know has been brought to them and donated, it’s really, really a good feeling,” says Barney Limeburner, Noble Grand of the Brooksville Lodge.

Read More

Tree of Life seeks donations to buy produce

From the Ellsworth American, April 7, 2017

BLUE HILL — Last year the Tree of Life Food Pantry distributed 12,000 pounds of fresh produce to hungry families. The fresh food was purchased from Good Shepherd Food Bank and directly from local farms with the help of a grant from Maine Farmland Trust.  tree-of-life-produce

Donations of fresh produce were also made by local farmers and gardeners, local businesses and gleaners.

This year the Tree of Life no longer qualifies for the Maine Farmland Trust grant, and so the organization is seeking individual donors willing to give money dedicated to buying local vegetables, said Tree of Life President Judi Hilliker.

“We want to continue and hopefully expand our fresh produce program and local donations would make a big difference,” she said.

Fresh produce donation forms will be available at local farm stands and farmers markets. Donations may also be made at treeoflifepantry.org.

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to improve health and combat problems like obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

However, because it is expensive and perishable, fresh produce is often out of reach for many low-income families, said Hilliker. In the past, food pantry shelves were stocked entirely with canned goods and other inexpensive shelf-stable foods such as cereal, macaroni and cheese, pasta, rice and beans. Although the Tree of Life still offers some of those products, the organization is working to offer more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and dairy, she explained.

“The food pantry now offers potatoes, carrots, onions, tomatoes, bananas and apples every week,” Hilliker said. “We offer greens like kale and chard, squash, beets, turnips, peppers, cabbage and other seasonal vegetables as available. Tasting samples and recipes help our pantry patrons use these fresh, and sometimes unfamiliar, foods.”

The food pantry also encourages people to grow some of their own fresh food by giving out seeds and bedding plants in the spring. The 2016 home gardening projects were made possible with seed packet donations from local businesses, a grant from the Brooklin Garden Club and seedlings from the Blue Hill Farming Artists. A similar gardening program is planned for this spring.

For the past three years grants from Maine Farmland Trust enabled the food pantry to purchase produce from local farms. In 2016, thanks to this grant money and additional donations, $10,344 was spent buying local produce. Local providers included Horsepower Farm, King Hill Farm, Old Ackley Farm, Misty Morning Farm and North Branch Farm.

Read More

Cash Mob raises money for TOL

15965130_10154185315661863_43793678112289294_n

Loyal Turnstyle customers organized a Cash Mob for Tuesday January 17, 2017 to support the Tree of Life after the thrift shop was broken into on the 12th.  Traffic was high with lots of people dropping off used clothes, buying items, and making direct donations.

TOL Board President, Judi Hilliker reports: “It worked! Our sales total for the day was $1,341.00. Our donation total for the day was $687.50. Pretty amazing.

Read More