Story last updated at 2:37 p.m. Thursday, April 18, 2002

Indian flavor, fashion hits Homer
by Carey James
Staff Writer

photo: news
  Photo by Carey James, Homer News
Marilyn Hueper, founder of The Living Room, poses in one of the saris on sale tomorrow night.  
The sights, sounds and scents of India will flood The Living Room on Friday as part of a fund-raiser for Indian orphanages.

Several Homer residents became involved with The Sari Project, an international fund-raiser where saris are sold to benefit Child Haven orphanages in India and Nepal, after Lisa Wood had a chance encounter with the son of Child Haven's founders.

As a result, a box filled with colorfully decadent saris arrived in Homer to be auctioned off Friday night, and local culinary artists are whipping up a buffet of Indian cuisine to be served at 6 p.m. at The Living Room next to Don Jose's.

Child Haven was founded in 1985 to assist children and women who need food, health care, education and shelter as well as emotional and moral support. Today, there are several homes in India and one in Nepal. Some of the homes care for as many as a 100 formerly destitute children.

The Sari Project, one of the fund-raisers employed by Child Haven, raises money by selling saris donated by upper-class women from India. The saris, to be sold using a silent auction, come in every color of the rainbow, many with intricate gold details and designs.

At a pre-event meeting last week, organizers dove into the box, examining one after another of the saris with enthusiasm. While some may prefer to wear the elegant wraps, others said the long, ornate cloths would make wonderful wall hangings.

Those preparing Friday night's feast were equally enthusiastic. On the menu is both meat and vegetarian curries, basmati, raita (a cucumber and yogurt salad), India's signature breads such as chapatis and puppadums, chai and dessert. Much of the food was to be prepared at Smoky Bay Natural Foods with help from the culinary artist there as well as Pat Gibson, a local self-declared Indian food fanatic. The food will be served buffet style, as long as it lasts.

Indian sitar music will further add to the mood of the evening, and a short video explaining the history of Child Haven will be shown.

"We just wanted to help out, and we thought it would be a fun event to have," said Wood, adding that there are many people in Homer who have traveled to India and for whom the country is a favorite.

Organizer Lauren Scharf said the event not only gives Homer a chance to help the children of India, but also gives people a chance to reflect on how lucky we really are.

"Some of us may consider ourselves poor by U.S. standards, but by the standards of much of the rest of the world, we are so rich it's disgusting," she said.

Tickets for the event are $10 for adults, $5 for kids and $20 for families. For more information, call Wood at 235-8316 or Scharf at 235-1606.