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New thrift shop helps women 'Dress to a Tea'

October 21, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Women in search of upscale, lightly used clothing and accessories suitable for work or casual wear can find them at a new downtown thrift shop while at the same time giving a helping hand to other women.

Dress to a Tea opened earlier this month at 17 W. King St. with an inventory of brand-name women's suits, blazers, blouses and tailored slacks in all sizes donated by professional women in the community. Proceeds from sales will benefit The House of Grace at 307 Lincoln Way East, a Christian life skills, education and mentoring program in Chambersburg.

"This is a neat place. This is an awesome place," Becky Nicklas said as she sifted through racks of clothing. "I got a dress for $15. You can't beat that."

The store is holding its grand opening today, during Chambersburg's 25th annual Applefest, although customer traffic was steady Friday afternoon. Tea, spiced cider and cookies will be offered to customers today, said Louise Hunsecker, the store manager.

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"We have a lot of volunteers who come through here," said Judy Beegle, the shop's financial manager. More than 20 people, including some House of Grace clients, help out at the store, Hunsecker said.

"That's our goal. To bring them from The House of Grace and have them be able to go out into the work force," Hunsecker said.

From parenting and computer classes to house cleaning, cooking and sewing, The House of Grace provides women with the practical and spiritual skills necessary to succeed in the workplace and life. Hunsecker said the Athena Network, a group of women honored with the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce's Athena Foundation Award, worked in partnership with The House of Grace in finding the location, the inventory and startup funding.

In addition to clothing, the shop offers handbags, shoes, jewelry and other accessories for women interested in building their wardrobe to enter or rejoin the professional work force.

The store's regular hours are Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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