COEUR d’ALENE – The 3Cs have a lot to celebrate this year.
Officially called Cancer and Community Charities, the group is celebrating its 60th year of fundraising and since its inception 3Cs members have distributed $ 2.5 million to support those in need in Kootenai County.
Now with around 480 members, 3C began as a small women’s bowling league in 1962.
That spring, Albertsons was selling roast beef for 0.69 cents a pound. Montgomery Ward offered a 12-foot aluminum boat for $ 159.88 plus the cost of transportation. “The Stompers” was to perform at a “teen dance” in the gym at Coeur d’Alene High School, and Johnny Carson was preparing to replace Jack Paar on the Tonight Show.
But the fear of cancer was on the minds of several women’s groups in Kootenai County in 1962.
The Worley Cancer Group was hosting a screening of “a cancer film for women only”, titled “Time and Two Women”. A group of women at Spirit Lake led by Ms. Elba Davis was launching a cancer fund campaign. And Mrs. AK Walden, known casually as Ellen, “presented two films about cancer detection.”
Walden was pressured to raise money to support local women with cancer. At the time, treatment was only available in Spokane. Walden’s fundraising efforts have provided money to help these patients.
Walden used her women’s bowling group, the Cancer Crusaders Bowling League as a vehicle to raise money while making friends.
One thing 3Cs have always done is put the “fun” into fundraising.
A newspaper article published around the time of 3C’s 25th anniversary says of Walden that she was “tired of going door-to-door to raise funds for cancer research that Coeur d’Alene patients have never seen. Walden used her gift of persuasion to talk to women about new ways to raise money for local cancer patients while having fun. ”
Today the 3Cs comprise 13 different social groups. Activities range from book clubs, bowling and bridge groups to Coeur d’Aleer singers and the Crafty Crew.
The concept is simple. Each group has its own cost associated with participation and a little extra is raised that goes into the fundraising plate.
Five dollars here, $ 20 there, that’s a lot.
In 2021 alone, the organization was able to donate $ 103,000 to Kootenai County citizens, and 27 carefully chosen charities received the necessary support.
The biggest 3C fundraising event of the year is just around the corner. “My Fair Ladies”, a dinner and spring fashion show will begin at 5:30 pm on May 4th at The Coeur d’Alene Resort.
“We are really on track this year to be operational. Everyone is going out, “club member Diane Lawrence said.” We’re particularly excited as it’s our 60th anniversary. So for this year’s show we want a spectacular celebration. ”
Marie Widmyer with Marmalade clothing on Sherman Avenue has been curating the fashions for the show for the past few years. Widmyer also includes garments from other local clothing retailers, making the event a true community collaboration.
Professional models are brought to the catwalk. This year, 25 members of the 3Cs will also perform.
“Real women of all ages and all sizes,” said fashion show president Bobbi Freeman. “It’s a very high energy, very bright. The choreography, the music: it’s incredible “.
In honor of the historical period in which 3C was founded, the theme of the show will be “the 60s”.
Club president Rhonda Newton said their goal this year is to raise at least $ 30,000 from the fashion show and dinner alone.
The event features several lotteries, a silent auction and a lively presenter in Jonathan Tibbetts. The aperitif starts at 5:30 and the violinist Diana Clemons will play. The Blazen Divaz dance company is also planning a number for the evening.
To obtain tickets for “My Fair Ladies” call Judy Gardner at 208-664-4604 or send a check for $ 85 (per person) to: Attn. Judy Gardner, PO Box 1274, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 83816 and includes a stamped envelope with personal address. It is advisable to purchase tickets by April 28th.