Women Who Dare Celebration Brunch to raise money for Comfort House
The Women Who Dare Celebration Brunch will be Saturday, March 17, at 9 a.m. at Lincoln Hills Christian Church in Corydon. The event, first held a year ago, is a fund-raiser for Comfort House, a sexual assault treatment and child advocacy center in Milltown.
The brunch, which due to popular demand will be open to everyone, not just women like a year ago, will feature an actress from Kentucky Chautauqua-Kentucky Humanities Council performing a monologue about Ruth Hanly Booe, co-founder of Rebecca-Ruth Candy. The event is age appropriate for adults and mature children.
Booe, who will be portrayed by Kelly O. Brengelman, and Rebecca Gooch in 1919 left careers as substitute teachers for chocolate. For years, their families had commented about the quality of the chocolates they had made over the years as holiday gifts.
Their Frankfort, Ky., business took off, thanks in part to their innovative marketing. Booe and Gooch would stage loud conversations about how wonderful their candy was in theater lobbies and on street corners and drove a stripped down car with Rebecca-Ruth signs on the sides all over central Kentucky.
Booe married Douglas Booe in 1924 and left the business, but returned in 1927 after the death of her husband. In 1929, she bought out Gooch, who left to get married.
The Great Depression presented challenges, as candy began to sell by the piece, not the box, but Booe began to experiment, creating the Mint Kentucky Colonel, a mint center surrounded by pecans and coated with dark chocolate. However, the house she had been working out of burned and no bank would approve the $25 loan she needed to restart the business. Fortunately, a hotel housekeeper loaned Booe her life’s savings.
Booe sold her candy in a Louisville hotel lobby during the Kentucky Derby season. One time, she offered Gov. Ruby Laffoon a chair beside her display. It proved to be a wise business decision, because as visitors came to shake his hand, plenty of candy sold.
Rebecca-Ruth’s specialty Bourbon Balls came about after Booe heard someone say that bourbon and chocolate are the world’s two best tastes. She worked for two years to perfect the recipe, and it was an immediate success.
Booe retired in 1964 and died in 1973 at the age of 82. Her son, John C. Booe, took over the company after her retirement, and his son, Charles, now runs the company.
Besides the monologue, which is underwritten by Pennington Law Office, the fund-raiser will include a silent auction. Some of the items that will be up for bid include a basketball autographed by Indiana University men’s coach Kelvin Sampson, two rounds of golf at Old English Golf Course, an autographed book by Harry Harden and a rattan sleigh bed.
Three level of sponsorships are also available for the brunch. All sponsors will have their names in the program. The gold level sponsorship, for $500, will receive three tickets, the silver level sponsorship, for $350, will receive two tickets, and the bronze level sponsorship, for $250, will receive one ticket.
Individual tickets cost $25. To purchase tickets and tables, contact Elaine or Reah at Lincoln Hills Christian Church at 738-8253.
Lincoln Hills Christian Church is located at 1130 Dale Ave. NW, Corydon.