GFWC Book Lovers Study Club hosts brunch, fashion show

The GFWC Book Lovers Study Club hosted a fundraising spring brunch and fashion show March 26 at the Russellville First United Methodist Church Ministry Center.

Club members described the event as a good means of helping others as well as a fun way to bring people together.

“We’ll use the proceeds to give back to our community through scholarships and community projects,” explained club president Nina McNatt.

Her daughter, Kassie Franks, one of the models, said the event was a lot of fun.

“I enjoyed helping to get things ready and decorating together,” Franks said. “Being in the fashion show meant really stepping out of my comfort zone, but I also lived out a childhood dream.”

Other models included Audrey Herring, Lauren and Sloan Hellums, Sydney Medley, Ally Oliver, Halle Grimes, Lauranne James, Karli Moore, Maggie Bishop, Chole Sheffield, Patricia Cox, Ellie Willis, Annie Willis, Brenda Oliver, Brayden Malone, Braxton Hipps and B.P. Blair.

Each of the 10 tables had a theme and was decorated by two club members, who also served as the hostesses for their table.

The fashion show featured models wearing this year’s spring fashions supplied by local businesses – some of whom also had displays of merchandise creatively arranged and displayed.

Lela Wright Ray served as emcee, and Patti Kimbrough played the keyboard during the show.

Ray said she enjoyed the opportunity to work together as sisters.

“I have been in a federated book club since 1967. I love being part of the group,” she said. “We have fun doing good work for our community and beyond.”

The event also represented the opportunity for her to see several of her former students again, including Theresa Hester Mays, Marcia Manley Hammock, Cathy Cross Payne, Pat King Davis, Carolyn Atkins Porter and Susan Bradford Hall. “I’ve known these ladies since they were high school teenagers, and they have become successful women who I’m still proud of.”

Hall said she hopes it’s the beginning of many more fashion shows to come.

“The Book Lovers Club gives back to the community and supports small businesses and other groups, such as the library,” she said. “It was an enjoyable way to bring members of the community together.”

Davis, who recently moved back to Russellville after 45 years, said the event was a good opportunity to reconnect with friends from way back. “It was a fun day out and a good chance to showcase local merchandise.”

Club member Susie Malone described the event as a success. “The decorations were wonderful. It was a very successful event, and we’re really pleased with the support and attendance.”

Club member Patricia Cox explained it was the club’s first fundraiser in two years because of COVID-19 precautions. “We want to thank our local merchants for supporting us, as well as those who helped prepare, participated in and attended the show.”

Clothing and accessories were provided by Audrey’s Gifts and Décor, Maggie J’s, Bella Vita Boutique, Suzy’s, Russellville Florist and Gifts and Kyle & Company Menswear. Wanda Scott Olive provided handmade garments and smocking.

For more information about the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, visit their website,