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Byline: Karen McCowan The Register-Guard

COTTAGE GROVE Cottage Grove, village (1990 pop. 22,935), Washington co., SE Minn., near the St. Croix River; inc. 1965. There is farming (cattle, sheep, corn, and soybeans) and manufacturing (chemicals and machinery).  - For sale: Wedding dress, size 8. Ivory, strapless strap·less  
Having no strap or straps, as a dress or an undergarment.

A garment having no strap or straps.

 with pearl beading beading,
n the scribing of a shallow groove (less than 0.5 mm in width or depth) on a cast that outlines the major connector. It is used to transfer the design to the investment cast and ensure tissue contact of the major connector.
. Worn once. Bidding starts at $300.

If they're superstitious, prospective brides might shy away from Verb 1. shy away from - avoid having to deal with some unpleasant task; "I shy away from this task"
avoid - stay clear from; keep away from; keep out of the way of someone or something; "Her former friends now avoid her"
 such a purchase, assuming the gown ended up on the auction block after losing its sentimental value sentimental value

the value of an article to a particular person because of the emotions it arouses
 because of a divorce.

But wait ... this isn't eBay. This is the window of a local dry cleaning dry cleaning, process of cleaning fabrics without water. Special solvents and soaps are used so as not to harm fabrics and dyes that will not withstand the effects of ordinary soap and water. Dry cleaning began in France about the middle of the 19th cent.  business. And this dress is being auctioned off to continue a romantic relationship, not because one ended.

Drain paramedic par·a·med·ic
A person who is trained to give emergency medical treatment or assist medical professionals.

 Jim Thomas Jim Thomas may refer to:
  • Jim Thomas (screenwriter)
  • Jim Thomas (sculptor)
  • Jim Thomas (basketball)
  • Jim Thomas (tennis player)
  • Jim Thomas (JimThomasPhotography)
 hopes that the sale of the gown will help defray de·fray  
tr.v. de·frayed, de·fray·ing, de·frays
To undertake the payment of (costs or expenses); pay.

[French défrayer, from Old French desfrayer : des-,
 costs of his new wife's immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important.  from Haiti - even though the auction was not his idea.

Instead, it was a collaboration by the staff and customers of Plaza Cleaners. Thomas, who married nurse Jocelene Joseph in Haiti less than two months ago, had taken her wedding dress to the north Cottage Grove business to have it cleaned before advertising it for sale.

When customer Casey Woodard noticed it hanging in the back of the shop and commented, "Wow - what a beautiful wedding dress," Plaza Cleaners employee Tina Henderson proceeded to tell him the story behind it: How Thomas took a leave from his job with the North Douglas Fire and Rescue District to join the Oregon Disaster Medical Team on a mission to Haiti in October 2002. How he befriended a beautiful young nurse he worked with at a remote clinic there. How they fell in love when he returned to the clinic with Oregon Disaster Medical Team the next year.

Thomas, 43, noticed his future wife the very first time he saw her step out of a CARE relief agency Land Cruiser in 2002.

"Her poise and confidence is what first caught my eye," he said. "The way she walked and carried herself, I thought she was some kind of CARE big shot there to look over our shoulders."

He was surprised to learn that Jocelene, now 26, had just completed three years of nurses' training and was beginning her government-required one year of social service - for an annual stipend of just $75 (U.S.) - in an area of the country lacking medical care. Her duties were more like those of a U.S. physician's assistant physician's assistant: see physician assistant. , however, as she diagnosed patients, sutured wounds and dispensed medications.

The attraction was mutual, and the pair spent hours conversing across a table inside the clinic. Since she didn't speak English and he didn't speak French, they "talked" by passing a note pad back and forth, along with an English-French dictionary.

Her English soon improved, and they continued their courtship by letter, telephone and e-mail until he returned to Haiti in February 2004 and proposed to her last Valentine's Day. After winning the blessing of her large family, they married in her hometown of Jeremie on Dec. 23.

"I know a lot of people will make assumptions about a marriage like ours: That I was interested in a pretty face and she was looking for Looking for

In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with.
 a ticket to the United States," Thomas said. "But our situation is unique. For one thing, as a nurse, she'll probably make more money than I do here."

Woodward learned that the newlyweds might have to wait as long as year for Jocelene to join Jim here, because of a backlog of immigration applications. He learned that the Thomases were selling the wedding dress to cover her $900 in immigration fees and to hire an attorney to help them avoid mistakes in the application process that could cause further delays.

Now Woodward was exclaiming, "Wow - what a beautiful story!" and urging Henderson to contact the news media. Which prompted Henderson and Plaza Cleaners owners Bill and Debbie Height to cook up the auction as a way to publicize the story and help Thomas get his bride to the United States as quickly as possible.

The shop is displaying the dress - on a mannequin donated by another Cottage Grove business, Rose Bud Clothing Consignment Shop - and accepting bids now through Feb. 17.

So far, there have been several "lookers Lookers is a car dealership chain in the United Kingdom with over 90 dealerships turning over in excess of £1bn annually. Reg Vardy
In January 2006, Lookers offered 875p per share for larger rival Reg Vardy.
" but no offers, Debbie Height said.

Which doesn't necessarily mean the auction has been a failure, Thomas said.

"I didn't orchestrate it, but I believe everything happens for a reason," he said. "My main hope is that having the story out there in the public eye will attract the attention of someone - maybe a politician - who can expedite things."


What: Size 8 wedding gown

Where: Displayed at Plaza Cleaners, 1441 Highway 99, Cottage Grove, OR 97424

When: Written bids accepted through Feb. 17

Minimum Bid: $300; donations also accepted

Why: Proceeds go to immigration fees for nurse Jocelene Thomas

Telephone bids or information: 942-4536


Jim Thomas arranges the wedding gown he and his wife have put up for auction at the Plaza Cleaners in Cottage Grove to try and raise funds. "I didn't orchestrate it, but I believe everything happens for a reason." - JIM THOMAS, DRAIN PARAMEDIC AND NEWLYWED
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Title Annotation:General News; A Drain paramedic hopes to raise funds to bring his bride home from Haiti
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Feb 11, 2005
Previous Article:Joint effort upholds value of vocation.
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