Wine, Women & Shoes

Raising Funds for the Idaho Youth Ranch

When you think of the Idaho Youth Ranch (IYR), you probably think about their two dozen thrift stores – easy places to pick up quirky accessories for your Halloween costume, find unusual vintage dishes for cheap, or the perfect spot to donate boxes of unnecessary household clutter. What you may not know is that the Idaho Youth Ranch has been around for more than sixty years and that their 29 amazing thrift stores are a great tool to fund an even greater mission.

A statewide non-profit agency that has been helping good kids on a dangerous path find promising futures, the IYR relies on those thrift stores, as well as private donations, to fund youth programs and services throughout the state. The Idaho Youth Ranch offers emergency shelter, residential care, animal-assisted therapy and equine therapy, job readiness training, alternative education, adoption services, family counseling, and more for at-risk kids and their families.

While donating our unneeded goods to our local IYR store (and also shopping at them) is a helpful way to financially support the mission and operations, there is another fun way to give back. This year, two local business women–Mary Beth Cooper of Chandlers Restaurant in Boise, and Tammy Hadfield, a nurse and owner of Embrace Wellness in Meridian–are co-chairs of a unique “fun”draiser for the Idaho Youth Ranch called Wine, Women and Shoes.

Wine, Women and Shoes is the brainchild of Californian Elaine Honig of Honig Wines. She created the first fundraising event for her own winery and now helps other communities like Boise do the same. She calls herself a ‘shoemmelier’ (playing off the wine connoisseur term ‘sommelier’) and is an expert in pairing fine shoes and wine and celebratory events that also include food, shopping, and runway fashion shows.

Boise’s first Wine, Women and Shoes event three years ago was a smashing success, bringing in around $15,000 and hundreds of women to Boise State University’s swanky Stueckle Center for the event. This year, you can enjoy a vintage fashion show, Idaho wines, and a “Best in Shoe” and “Best Dressed” contest.

“IYR is a charity that fits with my own company’s motto ‘Embracing who you are and who you can become.’ It’s about helping youth succeed with positive support from their local community and creating bonds that make a child want to achieve his/her potential. Their stories are touching,” says Co-Chair Tammy Hadfield. “I just love being part of IYR’s future and I am so happy to know that the money I donate is going directly to IYR. It has a rippling affect into this entire community.”

Wine, Women and Shoes will be held at The Boise Centre on Friday May 20th from 6-9:30pm. Tickets go on sale March 2nd and more information can be found on the event Facebook page: