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GRAVES IS '06 GRACEFUL WOMAN OF THE YEAR.

Byline: BETTIE RENCORET Senior Columnist

LANCASTER -- Nonagenarian Billie Graves was named Antelope Valley's Graceful Woman of the Year for 2006 at the Grace Resource Center Thrift Supercenter's Fashion Show and Boutique.

Graves is the first to hold that title, and was taken by surprise when her name was revealed as the winner from a field of nominees.

Graves was chosen for the honor based on her 33 years of service to Antelope Valley Hospital's Thrift Store, service to other charities, doll making and many other activities aimed at making life a little better for those around her.

This was the center's second fashion show and boutique and was orchestrated by Georgia Lowder, director of the charity's thrift store.

Themed as a tribute to all women, especially mothers, the May 12 fashion show at the Antelope Valley Inn challenged women to appreciate ``everything pretty,'' and to celebrate, cheer and enjoy themselves for ``exactly who you are.''

``It's your time to know you are loved. It's an honor to be here with you and to work under the umbrella of Grace Resources,'' said Lowder.

Steve Baker, executive director of Grace Resource Center, echoed Lowder's sentiments.

``As far as we're concerned,'' he said, ``you're all lovely `Ladies of Grace.' We love and honor all of you. We mean that!''

Proceeds from the $25-per-person event are earmarked to support Grace Resource Center, which provides food, education and other help to needy Antelope Valley residents.

Treasures from Grace Thrift Supercenter were artistically packaged and displayed on tables and racks. They ran the gamut from bath and beauty items to period picture frames, novelties and designer clothes, both new and used.

Examples of the couture to be found on racks in the thrift shop were shown by local women, most of whom were from local businesses and churches.

Lowder served as the show's narrator, giving prices of the outfits and a little background of the models, who included several children and a couple of men.

In addition to the Graceful Woman of the Year feature, this year three women were chosen to receive makeovers from Bianca Crawick of Bianca's Beauty Secrets and other benefactors, including a dentist and plastic surgeon.

Grace Thrift Supercenter at 316 E. Ave. I is open seven days a week. It has name-brand clothing like that seen in the fashion show, a home furnishings department and a sit-down library.

For more information, call (661) 726-9723.

Menus for the week at the senior life nutrition sites in Lancaster and Palmdale have been announced. All meals include bread, margarine and coffee, tea or milk, for a suggested donation of $2.

Monday: Mushroom chicken, rice pilaf, cooked cabbage, lettuce and tomato salad, apple.

Tuesday: Lasagna, spinach, garden salad, vanilla pudding.

Wednesday: Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, Normandy vegetables, cottage cheese, cookies.

Thursday: Hot turkey sandwich, mashed potatoes, parslied carrots, tossed salad, gelatin with fruit.

Friday: Pastrami sandwich, potato salad, corn, coleslaw, pears.

CAPTION(S):

2 photos

Photo:

(1) Billie Graves, a 33-year volunteer, was honored as Graceful Woman of the Year at the recent Grace Resource Center Thrift Supercenter's Fashion Show and Boutique.

(2) Sandra Torres, the mother of 10, still looks slim and trim in a bridal gown at the recent fashion show.

Bettie Rencoret/Special to the Daily News
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Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 21, 2006
Words:545
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