Donald A. Promnitz/The Madera Tribune
The Madera Republican Women Federated drink tea, celebrate the election, and raise money for scholarships at their annual Friendship Tea at the Madera Municipal Golf Course.
At the Madera Municipal Golf Course, the mood was one of both festivity and celebration, as the Madera Republican Women Federated held their annual Friendship Tea, in order to raise money for scholarships for Madera County students.
“We’re very happy. I think you can tell in the tone,” said federation president Janelle Seibert. “And also, I think it shows in our ticket sales that everybody’s been very happy.”
The Saturday event was a chance for women across the county to shop, dine, and visit at the end of the year. A lighthearted fashion show was also staged.
“We began this event, I would say about six years ago, and we decided it would be a nice time for women to get together, not worry about any party affiliations, and just enjoying one another’s company,” Seibert said. “And at the same time, we’re fundraising for the students of Madera County.”
The main purpose of the event, however, was to help students on their way to college.
“It’s a fundraiser, the main fundraiser that our club gives for scholarships every year to high school seniors,” said former president Leslie Lebrucherie. “And we give seven to eight scholarships every year.”
With the money raised, a $500 scholarship will be given to a senior from each high school in Madera County. Having already exceeded the $3,500 goal for funds, Lebrucherie has stated that the excess money raised will go to next year’s scholarships.
It was also an occasion to celebrate for their party, as Republican nominee Donald J. Trump won the presidency, and the GOP retained control of both houses of Congress. Among those in attendance was retired nurse Helen Brown, who, at age 99, cast her vote for Trump.
“I voted for Trump,” Brown said. “I think he’s going to be a good man.”
Lebrucherie also shares Brown’s optimism for the coming administration.
“What I find interesting is before the election, you would hear people say: ‘I don’t know about Trump, but I’m going to vote for her,’” Lebrucherie said. “Now, universally, everyone says: ‘isn’t he doing a great job? Don’t you like the people he’s picking for his cabinet, and other positions?’ And I don’t hear any negative. It’s all positive and joyous.”
In addition to Madera County seniors, proceeds for the event will also go to help a student in the “Dollars for Scholars” program, aimed at helping continuation students in their effort to get into college.