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Fighting Fists with Fashion

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, domestic abuse is the leading cause of injury to women in this country. Locally, The Spring of Tampa Bay plays a crucial role in fighting this trend, providing sanctuary and services to the area's abused adults and their children. The Spring is the largest of Florida's 40 certified domestic violence shelters; however, like many similar organizations, much of its operating budget depends on donations from private sources, including corporations, foundations and individuals like you.La Belle Femme (a lingerie boutique located at 1620 W. Snow Circle in Old Hyde Park Village) lends a hand by sponsoring a unique, week-long charity drive. The drive is designed to allow those more fortunate to empty their closets of career clothes they no longer wear, which are then given to women aided by The Spring so that they can present themselves in a professional manner when seeking employment. The boutique also offers a series of events and activities to coincide with the drive, including a prize wheel for donors only.

The kick-off party begins at 5 p.m. on Fri., July 9, with beer, wine and snacks, as well as a special fashion show at 8 p.m.

On Sat., July 10, the boutique serves nonalcoholic frozen drinks and gives out free Hawaiian leis at a Tiki Beach Party. The following day (Sun., July 11), a British Tea Party starts at noon, with complimentary tea and biscuits as well as coloring activities for children.

Monday is Pamper Yourself and Makeover Day, at which women can receive free beauty advice and massages, and Tuesday is European Day, with European refreshments and a complimentary wine tasting provided by The Wine Cellar of Hyde Park. On both days, a variety of free seminars are also offered.

Wednesday is Mommy and Baby Day, with treats for children, prize bags for the first 12 donors, photography sessions, and a free seminar. Bridal Party Day takes place on Thu., July 15, and Fri., July 16, is the last day for donations. For more information, call 813-254-5000.

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