Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Celebrate International Women's Day

Olympic Cellars and Womanfest Honor the Memory of Local Activist Clara Carlson at International Women’s Day Celebration

The Winery invites public to gather, break bread and hear stories of Carlson’s deep commitment to growing women’s participation in the political process

Port Angeles, Wash., March, 9, 2009 – Women of all ages are invited to gather at Olympic Cellars Winery at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18 for a post International Women’s Day (March 8) celebration in honor of the late Clara Carlson, a long-term Port Angeles resident who worked passionately to inform and involve women in the political process. Her relentless advocacy for women’s rights continued until her death on Jan. 10 at the age of 102.

“Clara was a highly intelligent, well-read, free thinker with a passion for progressive politics,” says Nancy Newman, owner of WholeHearted Consulting and the organizer of Port Angeles’ first International Women’s Day celebration a decade ago. “She once said, ‘to inform oneself and to exercise the voting privilege is the very basis of freedom, the foundation of good government.’”

Carlson played an active local role in the National Organization of Women’s work to pass an equal rights amendment, worked tirelessly with the Port Angeles League of Women Voters to raise political awareness among local women, and shed light on various issues of concern with her eloquently penned letters to the editor of the Peninsula Daily News. She was also an early member of Womanfest, a local non-profit organization providing empowering experiences for women.

“Clara wanted women to have a strong voice in creating a better world,” Newman continues. “Her work gets to the very essence of International Women’s Day, a time set aside for reflection and commemoration of the economic, social and political achievements of women who are working collectively towards this end.”

Newman will speak about the history of International Women’s Day, her friendship with Carlson, who she met at Port Angeles’ first International Women’s Day celebration in 1999, and Carlson’s work, during the evening. Participants in the gathering can enjoy hot soup, bread and wine while listening to stories about Carlson’s life as volunteered by others who knew her.

Continuing a theme of women helping women begun 10 years ago with the area’s first International Women’s Day celebration, an ongoing scholarship fund will be launched in Clara Carlson’s name. The fund will support women’s work for causes that captured Carlson’s passion, and will be managed by Womanfest. A suggested $10.00 donation, collected at the door, will support the scholarship fund.

The event will also support Mujeres de Maize (Women of Corn) Opportunity Foundation, a sewing coop located in six villages in Chiapas, Mexico. The foundation provides educational opportunities for Mexican women and girls. Twenty-five percent of the purchase price wine sold by the glass throughout the evening will be donated to this international charity.

“In 2004, the first year that Olympic Cellars hosted an International Women’s Day event, we raised $150.00 in donations for the G.I.R.L.S. Summer Camp,” says Kathy Charlton, owner, Olympic Cellars. “Last year, donations exceeded $600.00, with half going to an international charity and half to a local charity. The organizations that receive this money are helping women and girls to succeed, sometimes, as in the case of Mujeres de Maize, by helping them to help each other.”

For further information about the celebration, call Olympic Cellars at 360.452.0160 or visit www.olympiccellars.com.

About International Women’s Day
International Women's Day (March 8) is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.

About the Sponsors
Womanfest is a local non-profit that has been providing women of the Olympic Peninsula with empowering experiences and associations for more than 20 years. The organization hosts an annual Fall Retreat, sponsors workshops, lectures, concerts and other events for the community and provides additional support for worthy women-centered projects and programs.

Olympic Cellars is a boutique winery housed in an historic century-old barn between Port Angeles and Sequim on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. The winery annually produces approximately 3,200 cases of hand-crafted wines on site, including the premium La Dolce Vida label, the Working Girl® series, and the Dungeness artist series.

Olympic Cellars is strongly committed to supporting the physical and emotional well-being of women through its Charity of Choice and 2X Success initiatives.Find out more about Olympic Cellars and its upcoming events by visiting the winery’s website at www.olympiccellars.com, or by calling 360-452-0160.

Also visit the Working Girl® website, www.workinggirlwines.com, for information pertaining specifically to the Working Girl series of wines and associated philanthropic programs.

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