Gina White with her friend, Stacey McElyea, modeling the styles of 1912

On March 22, 2018, Life Care Center of Treasure Valley in Boise, Idaho, hosted a grand afternoon tea event, extending the invitation to residents at seven local assisted living facilities.


Gerald Bosen, executive director, and Debbie Pape, director of nursing, greeted guests as they arrived and escorted them to a room with more than 100 hats to wear. Associates assisted guests to find the right hat to coordinate with their outfit. All eyes brightened, and guests expressed delight when they saw themselves in the mirror and had the opportunity to pose in front of a backdrop of the Grand Staircase from the Titanic.


They were further enchanted when they walked into the dining room that was transformed with social worker Sherrie Gibson’s collection of lace tablecloths and china. The tables were also graced with napkins folded into roses and towering plate stands with delectable treats. Guests were offered tea from beautiful teapots on lacy tea carts. Everything set the stage for a journey back in time… aboard the Titanic.


The fashion presentation was “A Day in the Life of a Lady Aboard the Titanic.” Local fashion historian Gina White, with the assistance of a friend, dressed in all the underpinnings and four outfit changes that may have occurred throughout a day on board in first class. Dresses included a day dress with outerwear to promenade on a chilly deck, as well as an outfit suited for playing tennis, an afternoon tea dress and evening gown.


The ladies also walked around with a number of vintage garments for the guests to see up close.


“It was very engaging and interactive, with Gina answering the various questions of guests,” said Bosen.


White also had laid out what she referred to as her “traveling museum.” This included a collection of vintage hats, dresses, reticules, hair brushes and hair pieces referred to as “rats” to fill in a lady’s high hairdo.


One attendee said, “The program – the food, the tea and, well, everything – was exceptional, and we loved every minute of it.”


Guests left with handcrafted bookmarks as a souvenir of the memorable afternoon.

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