Fashion Show to Support Scholarships for Women

Fashion Show to Support Scholarships for Women

Great Falls Friends and Neighbors continues to support women’s education.


artina Atabong, a 2015 GFFN scholarship recipient studying nursing at GMU where she is on the Dean’s List.


Lea Lines, a 2015 GFFN scholarship recipient and GMU nursing student who resumed her studies after staying at home more than a decade with her children.


Members of GFFN rally around publicity for the Scholarship Fund’s Fashion Show scheduled for April 24, 2016 at Bloomingdale’s Tysons Corner. From left: Annette Kerlin, Karen Deardorff, Julie Casso, Claire Jones, Tracie Hildson, Keula Binelly-Fletcher, Sally Andrew-Pyne.

The Great Falls Friends and Neighbors Scholarship Fund (GFFNSF) is raising money to provide scholarships to women, continuing its long-standing tradition of giving back to the community. Great Falls Friends and Neighbors (GFFN) was formed in 2011 as a result of a merger between the Great Falls Woman’s Club and the Newcomers of Great Falls, two organizations that had been active in the area for more than 30 years.

GFFN has more than 200 involved members and provides opportunities for the residents of Great Falls and surrounding communities to connect through a variety of social, educational and cultural activities. It also provides service, support, and donations to philanthropic causes and civic organizations. The GFFNSF is one of the club’s major philanthropies. It is a separately incorporated 501(c)(3) organization.

Each year the GFFNSF awards up to six scholarships to deserving Virginia women over the age of 25 who are attending either George Mason University or Northern Virginia Community College. One scholarship is presented to a dance student at George Mason University in the name of a club founder, Bette Carter. According to Annette Kerlin, a GFFNSF board member, “Many of these scholarship recipients have jobs, children or both, and would not be able to continue their education without this help. The beneficiaries are very impressive individuals and we are thrilled to be able to help them in this manner.” For more information on the recipients, see

The GFFNSF has been providing this kind of financial assistance to female college students for the last 34 years. To facilitate its efforts, the GFFNSF has established two endowments, one at George Mason University and one at Northern Virginia Community College, which are maintained through donations and fundraising activities. On Sunday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 12, the GFFNSF will be hosting its “2016 Spring Fashion Show” at Bloomingdale’s Tysons Corner in McLean to raise scholarship money. This event will feature a champagne brunch, raffle, silent auction, shopping event and fashion show.

Sally Andrew-Pyne, of the GFFNSF board, said, “Bloomingdale’s is pulling out all the stops with a fabulous lineup of this season’s styles. They also are generously donating 10 percent of the attendees’ purchases to GFFNSF. Add a yummy brunch and a number of exciting silent auction and raffle gifts and you have a Sunday morning packed with fun – and all for a terrific cause.”

The GFFNSF is accepting contributions from individuals, organizations and companies who would like to support this cause by becoming one of the event sponsors. Monetary donations are also appreciated. To become a sponsor, donate money or purchase tickets for the fashion show, visit for details.