By LOIS KINDLE
One of the community’s favorite annual events, the GFWC Ruskin Woman’s Club’s festive Christmas Tea, wasn’t held in 2020 due to the pandemic. To kick off the new year, the club has enlisted Cupid to take charge of its social calendar, and members are now planning their inaugural Sweetheart Tea.
The luncheon event will take place at noon Feb. 13 at the club’s historic clubhouse, 503 U.S. 41 S, Ruskin. It will be decorated “to the nines from floor to ceiling” for Valentine’s Day, said committee chairwoman Kathy Eckhart. Reservations are required for what is sure to be a lovely event.
“This is our first event of the year and first tea since the pandemic began,” Eckhart said. “We’re taking every precaution to make it safe and stellar. It will be a wonderful way to start the new year and raise money for the club’s annual scholarship fund.”
The luncheon menu will include hot tea, finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and homemade Devonshire cream, plus an assortment of petite desserts, with an emphasis on chocolate.
Every attendee will receive a lovely handmade favor created by jeweler Jean Harrison in a special case made by Sharon Davis. The event will also include a 50/50 cash raffle and a raffle of themed gift baskets to include themes such as Movies, Valentine’s Day, Cupid’s Treasures, Love Blooms and more.
Tickets are $35 per adult, $20 for children 12 and younger. Tables for six are available for $200 for friends or family members who wish to sit together. Table sponsorships, which include publicity on the menu and a table card, are available for $50.
All proceeds from the tea will go to the Ruskin Woman’s Club Scholarship Fund, which benefits graduating seniors from Lennard and East Bay High schools who are headed to a technical school, community college or four-year college, as well as mature women wanting to finish their degree. Last year, eight scholarships were awarded.
“We’re hosting this Sweetheart Tea to raise funding we lost by not having our Christmas Tea,” said committee member Debbie Bonebrake. “Those funds are badly needed to be able to make our goal of awarding 10 scholarships in May.”
This year, out of an abundance of caution, seating will be limited to 40 guests, and the event is expected to sell out quickly. Those interested should RSVP as soon as possible to secure their seats. Masks and social distancing are required, except when guests are eating.
To make a reservation or become a table sponsor, call Eckhart at 847-809-6986 or Bonebrake at 813-892-7235. Payment by cash, check or credit card will be accepted.
The Ruskin Woman’s Club is open to women 18 and older living in the South Shore area. For more information on the club or its activities, visit theruskinomansclub.org.