A Gift That’s “Sew” Inspiring

Published: April 21, 2022
Sew Inspiring

If you’ve created a garment from scratch, you know it’s a labor of love! From the first cut of fabric to hand-sewing that final button, every snip and stitch takes focus and patience. The annual 4‑H Fashion Revue is a testament to that patience. For many, the inspiration leads to a lasting love for the craft and sometimes, a career in fashion.

One person who knows plenty about this labor of love is Paulette LeCount-Dowden, a volunteer commentator for Indiana 4‑H Fashion Revue for nearly 50 years. Since 1973, Paulette has delivered lively and informative narration as fashion revue finalists take the stage.

A 4‑H alum who grew up in the Noble County town of Wawaka, Indiana, Paulette earned her way through school sewing and altering clothes for others. This led to a career in fashion merchandising and management. She feels a 4‑H fashion experience is a great foundation for life.

“You learn responsibility, communication and competitiveness as well as the skills of the project,” said Paulette.

Paulette wants to make sure aspiring sewers and future fashion professionals have every opportunity to hone their skills and prepare for a successful future. She is very supportive of 4‑H and donates more than just her time.

Paulette is an Emerald Clover, giving $5,000 a year to the greatest needs of the Foundation and also has an endowed scholarship. In 2012, Paulette created the annual Sewing/Fashion Revue Scholarship, and to date has funded 10 scholarships at $1,000 each.

This year, Paulette is making another meaningful charitable contribution with a gift that is “sew” very interesting. Paulette has named the Indiana 4‑H Foundation as the beneficiary of a home she owns in South Dakota.

Shelly Bingle, the Foundation’s Executive Director says Paulette found a “very practical, smart and even creative way” to make a charitable gift. “There are so many ways to create a garment, and it’s the same with charitable giving. There are a wide variety of ways to fashion a donation.”