SEQUIM — Much more is inside these jars than the listed ingredients.
Linda Klinefelter said when she’s preparing her jams and jellies for Soroptimist International of Sequim’s annual Gala Gift Show, which is set for Saturday, she considers the benefactors of her group’s efforts.
“I’m a die-hard Soropotimist; I believe in everything we do,” Klinefelter said. “I believe in walking the extra mile.”
Funds raised at the annual gift show and Gala Garden Show in March fund scholarships and support local organizations and activities committed to “providing women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.”
Klinefelter said she didn’t have that kind of support in place years ago when she had the opportunity to be trained for a company that repaired and sold copy equipment, copiers, mimeographs and offset printing machinery — jobs traditionally held by men.
“I was harassed and heckled and told I should not have this job,” she recalled. “I answered them, ‘I’m a single mother. I need to feed my children.’
“That stuck with me a long, long time. I don’t want others to go through [that] experience.”
So Klinefelter said she’s happy to complete bit of cooking and canning for the organization’s big holiday event, set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula at 400 W. Fir St.
Since construction continues on West Fir Street, attendees should take an alternate route to the club parking lot.
Attendees of the eighth-annual gift show can expect a plethora of items from more than 40 vendors offering unique items in home decor, clothing, jewelry/accessories, culinary items, health and beauty products, pet products, children’s books, artwork/photography and more.
Sequim Soroptimists will sell wrapped, home-baked goodies and holiday-wrapped See’s Candies.
In addition, a light lunch — soup — will be offered in the cafe area and live music is on the bill.
The Gala Gift Show remains a popular local holiday event, Klinefelter said, because “folks in the community know they can come and get quality goodies.”
The bake sale portion of the show is so popular, she said, that last year’s products sold out between 11:30 a.m. and noon — three hours prior to the show’s close.
Klinefelter, who has made her jams and jellies for the past four gala gift shows, said a little more than half of her most recent batch of 140 jars will be available for sale.
In truth, family and friends have come to expect the culinary treats each year as well as gala gift show regulars.
“I have access to a lot of good fruit that’s not exposed to pesticide … and to organic fruit,” she said.
Some of her more sought-after products include gooseberry jelly, as well as a golden plum ginger jelly made from fruit grown in her yard.
The latter requires steaming plums, which Klinefelter called “a pretty arduous task.”
“It’s a pretty popular one; people have found its a wonderful accompaniment to pork or lamb,” she said.
The heart of Soroptimist International of Sequim’s mission is shown through financial support to senior high school students, women returning to school, women who demonstrate commitment through volunteer work and a number of local agencies — 16 at last count, Klinefelter said — whose missions align with the local Soroptimist group.
Soroptimists offer a number of awards and scholarships for girls and women, from the annual $2,000 Live Your Dream award and $2,000 continuing education awards to high school scholarships (also $2,000), the $1,500 Vocational Technical Award and Youth Community Service Awards ($250 to the youth, $250 to the organization).
“Women don’t have doors open to them as readily as the male population,” Klinefelter said.
Funds are also distributed to various groups such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, Healthy Families and First Step.
Among other activities, the Sequim Soroptimist group — about 75 members strong, Klinefelter said — operates a medical loan closet, takes part in Soroptimist International of the Americas’ focus on the prevention of domestic violence and hosts Tea with SHE, a variety of activities geared toward meeting the needs of various age groups of women in the community.
That focus on supporting girls and women gives a bit more drive behind the work, Klinefelter said, and makes the summer days and weekends working on jams and jellies worth it, culminating in Saturday’s gala.
“We [Soroptimist members] all work it and we all work together and we like what we’re doing,” Klinefelter said.
For more information, see galagiftshow.com.
For more about Soroptimist International of Sequim, see sisequim.org.
Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].