A teacher, a software tester and a stay-at-home mom walk into a bar.
It’s not the start of a joke. It’s a fundraiser for an Olympia tattoo artist who has developed multiple sclerosis and can no longer ply her trade.
The event Oct. 30 at The Eagles raised $840 and was just one of the charitable works of the new-to-town women’s club, the Rockabilly Mafia Dolls.
The group is part of a national club started in 2010 and described as a vintage-inspired social club whose service is to provide non-profit organizations with help. In addition to the Olympia chapter, there are 11 chapters in California, and others in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Ohio, Colorado.
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The organization is seeking 501(c)3 non-profit status, according to Olympia founder Carrie Hockman.
The vintage part is a whole-hearted commitment to the styles of the ‘50s and ‘40s, with circle skirts, bouffant up-dos, candy apple red lipstick, big ribbons, pearls and clutch purses.
“I feel pretty,” said Stephanie Seitz, 41, the software tester. Seitz found the club through a friend, who led her to Hockman.
Hockman is an art teacher at Timberline High School. She was in Las Vegas and happened into a gathering of the Rockabilly Mafia Dolls there, and — counter to Vegas tradition — brought the idea home.
She had been wanting to volunteer, and the mission combined with the camaraderie seemed a good match. She, Seitz and stay-at-home mom Leah Oliver are the founding members of the Olympia chapter.
“It’s a sisterhood who empowers each other through charity work. And we get to dress up!” Seitz said.
Sisterhood, empowerment and giving back are recurring themes on chapter web pages. Charitable events in other chapters include distributing meals, blanket and coat drives, a vintage charity ball, and a car show.
Club activities average a couple of hours a week, and include meetings and events.
“I’m so confident now,” Seitz said, adding that friends have commented on the change.
In addition to last week’s fundraiser, the dolls have raised money for Safeplace, and participate in Bingo nights at the Olympia Senior Center.
The women walk the floor and sell raffle and game tickets, said Joyce Beckwith, activities administrative assistant at the center. Beckwith said the Dolls get the era right — “just like June Cleaver.”
The next bingo night is a Halloween theme. “I bet they’ll be as cute as buttons,” Beckwith said. “I just can’t wait to see how they’re dressed.”
The Olympia chapter is hoping for more members. Hockman encourages anyone who wants to help the community — and look good doing it — to contact her through their Facebook page, Rockabilly Mafia Dolls Olympia Washington.