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Victorian Ladies march for charities

| Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 11:54 a.m.
Andrew Hesner | For The Independent-Observer
The Scottdale Victorian Ladies don period hats like these as they march in parades.

Scottdale resident Jayne Canose likes to march in local parades in style.

Canose, the director of the Scottdale Victorian Ladies since 2005, along with 13 other ladies can be seen marching in parades in Victorian-period gowns.

Canose joined the organization in 2002. It was under the direction of group founder Carolyn Maloy. Maloy offered Canose the director position when Maloy was having family health issues.

“She called and asked if I would be interested in taking over the group because I sew,” said the 80-year-old group director.

The Victorian Ladies members hail from various towns including Scottdale, Greensburg, Connellsville, Norvelt and New Alexandria.

It is a strictly volunteer group and all members are responsible for providing their own fabric and dresses.

In June, the group will participate in the Tri-Town Parade in Dawson during homecoming.

On July 4, members will march in Latrobe and in September, they march in Scottdale, Mt. Pleasant, Perryopolis and Ligonier.

At the end of the season, Canose holds a business luncheon at a local eatery or establishment where the women discuss the next year's charities.

Although Canose is deemed the group director, she feels that she has no added decision-making ability. The group must come to a unanimous agreement before any decisions are made.

“The fact that they say I'm in charge means nothing to me in my eyes,” she said.

Her additional duties, however, consist of recording the group's charity donations and creating all the dresses and hats. Canose, who is a third-generation seamstress, said the group is invited by various towns to march in the parades and all the money they receive goes to charities and those in need throughout the area.

“If we get rained out,” she said, “we don't get paid.”

Past charities have included Lint's Happy Personal in Connellsville, the Scottdale Pool, the Blackburn Center in Greensburg, the Scottdale Historical Society and the St. John the Lutheran Church food bank.

As for 2013, Canose and the Victorian Ladies are currently in the process of finding new charities.

Many of the ideas stem from either word-of-mouth or local media.

One possible idea is a program run by the Christian Laymen Corps Thrift Store in Greensburg called “A Bed for Every Child.”

The mission of the organization is to provide approximately 20 beds each month including a mattress, box spring, frame, dresser and linens to children in need.

Canose plans to use it as a suggestion for this upcoming season. However, she claims the hardest part is determining who is most in need.

Canose said anyone interested in joining can contact her at 724-887-8682.

“I love what I do,” she concluded. “I would not be here if I didn't.”

Andrew Hesner is a freelance writer.

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