A luncheon and fashion show was held at Soboba Springs
■ By Mike Hiles / Contributed
After a hearty welcome and spiritual blessing, about 100 guests at the ladies-only Soboba Elders Mother’s Day Lunch and Fashion Show enjoyed an afternoon of fun and fellowship at the Country Club at Soboba Springs on May 2.
Emcee Erica Schenk is also the elders coordinator and worked closely with the Elders Board to organize this event, which was designed to create a memorable day for mothers and daughters. Members of the Elders Board include President Francie Diaz, Vice President Carlene Masiel and Secretary Raina Maciel.
A croissant sandwich buffet and lots of delectable desserts were available and each guest received a long-stemmed carnation flower.
Fashions modeled were available for purchase and represented such retailers as Menifee’s Lane Bryant store, Trucha in San Jacinto, Fashions by LuLaRoe and Native Regalia & Handbags by Gloria Vivanco. Items covered the gamut from casual to evening wear and sizes included juniors, misses, women’s and even some plus sizes.
All fashion show models were Soboba tribal members, descendants of the tribe or married into the tribe. Those who participated were Marilyn Arres, Tenille Castello, Korine Diaz, Tekla Diaz, Janelle Helms, Shakoora Kabeer, Mary Masiel, Francine Miranda, Lexi Molina, Emma Nevarez, Gweenie Nevarez, Alexis Vargas, Suzanne Verdugo, Autumn Vivanco and Gloria Vivanco’s granddaughters.
Korine Diaz said she was honored to be asked by the Elders Board to participate in the fashion show. It was the first time she had ever modeled.
“We went to the store the day before the event to pick out and try on our outfits,” said Korine, 19. “It was fun to see all the ladies having such a good time, visiting and having fun.”
Model Mary Margret Masiel was surprisingly recruited by her cousin, Raina Maciel.
“It was nice of her to ask,” said Masiel, 70, of Hemet. “It sounded like fun – and it was. At first I was a little hesitant to walk out there but I just went for it and had a good time.”
She was able to pick out three outfits she’d like to model when she visited the store.
“I felt it was nice for everyone to get together,” she said. “My mother, Barbara Guanche, is 92 and she came, as did my daughter and two granddaughters.”
Francine Miranda felt the overall event was great and would model again, if asked. Her two daughters, Geneva and Lenora, attended the event with her. She appreciated the help that Lane Bryant store personnel offered in picking out clothing from the store’s new spring and summer lines.
“Everyone was a tremendous help to all the models,” said Miranda, 56, of Hemet. “What I liked most about the event was Native women of different ages coming together to celebrate our special day.”
A mother of four and grandmother to five, Miranda said plans for her personal Mother’s Day on May 14 are a family barbecue.
Suzanne Verdugo, 58, was also a first-time model. Her favorite part of the event, besides the fashion show, was being able to share the day with her youngest daughter and other family members.
Rose Salgado attended the event with her daughter and two nieces.
“The decorations were beautiful, the fashion show was a first and so much fun,” said Salgado, 60, of the Soboba Reservation. “Seeing all the mothers, daughters and grandmothers was great.”
On May 14, she plans to attend church and go out to lunch with her family, which includes a daughter and four grandchildren.
Diaz said she plans to spend time with family and have a very relaxing and enjoyable personal Mother’s Day, too.