Mardi Bra night supports local women

Event at Banyan’s on the Ridge will collect hygiene item donations, feature auction, raffle to fundraise



Alisha Dearmin, therapist at Palouse River Counseling, said event goers can donate feminine products on Tuesday at The Daily Grind.

SAM SCHMITKE, Evergreen reporter

Mardi Bra on the Palouse will host its third annual silent auction Sunday. Money raised will go to Alternatives to Violence on the Palouse and other local nonprofits.

Alisha Dearmin, mental health therapist from Palouse River Counseling, is one of the programmers for the event. She said people who attend can also donate tampons, pads, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, underwear or bras.

“People that have food stamps aren’t able to get hygiene products,” Dearmin said. “Think about how difficult that is to not have anything for when your body does what it’s supposed to do.”

She said that all donators and receivers are anonymous, and to remember that this is for the community.

“It is neighboring behavior — it is just being neighborly,” Dearmin said.

She said in its first year, the event raised $300. By the second, they raised $700. She hopes for $1,000 in donations this year.

The turnout has been different each year, Dearmin said. Volunteers and average citizens in the community come to help.

There is no overhead cost, she said. Organizers give all donations to the event back to the community.

“Last year, Sigma Nu helped promote the event, and we raised over double what we had,” Dearmin said.  “That’s incredible.”

Banyans on the Ridge will host the silent auction. Auction items include a ukulele, housekeeping for two hours, a massage from Healing Hands Massage Clinic, and chocolate with wine, she said.

“I’m most excited for the box of chocolate and wine certificates,” Dearmin said. “It’s like the best day ever basket.”

She said auctioneers will announce raffle prizes throughout the event, so participants should keep their ears open.

If you do not want to be in the silent auction, you can donate a dollar for a raffle to win prizes, Dearmin said.

Mardi Bras on the Palouse will go from 2-4 p.m. this Sunday at Banyans.

Banyans on the Ridge is located at 1260 Palouse Ridge Drive, Pullman.