By Bill Robinson
About 225 people filled the Christian Life Center of Richmond’s First Presbyterian Church on Saturday afternoon to enjoy an elegant tea and be entertained by a Dixieland band and a barbershop quartet, all in support of the local Salvation Army unit.
This year’s tea celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Richmond Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, and recognition was given to the organization’s founder.
Lt. Col. Carolee Israel presented a Salvation Army Award of Excellence to Marilyn Hungarland, who started the fundraising tea. She is one of only three remaining charter members on the local auxiliary’s board, according to the program printed for the tea.
Hungarland’s service and “visionary leadership” have been essential in all aspects of the Salvation Army’s work in the 24 years since the Richmond unit was formed, Israel said.
The Salvation Army’s work in Richmond, serving Madison, Estill, Lee and Rockcastle counties, has not always been easy, Israel said, and Hungarland was “a steady force in turbulent times.”
Recognition also was given to Shirley Baechtold who played the piano for nearly every one of the teas and to Derral Brown who has printed its programs.
The always colorful and festive tea may have had the most entertainment ever this year.
The affair started with guests welcomed and then served by auxiliary members in black outfits and feathered headbands in the style of 1920s flappers.
The diligent servers almost never let anyone’s tea cup go dry.
The theme was continued by the Dixieland South Band that played music from the Roaring ’20s as guests looked over silent auction items and then sat down for tea.
After tea and hor d’oeuvres were served, the Pay It Fourward barbershop quartet took center stage. The group began with music from the 1920s, then supplemented it with a few selections from the ’40s,’50s and even one from the ’80s.
Money raised by the tea helps support the Salvation Army’s service to those in need throughout the year, said Capt. Sally Love, who with her husband, Capt. Mark Love, lead Salvation Army efforts in Richmond.
Auxiliary members also volunteer to help with the Salvation Army soup kitchen, thrift store and Thanksgiving/ Christmas collections and distributions, Love said.