Updated: 10/21/2013 3:43 PM KSTP.com By: Jason Davis
Ruthie Gmeinder and her husband, Mike, own a beautiful resort on the shores of Gull Lake just north of Brainerd, Minn. The business is profitable enough to allow Ruthie to travel to Europe quite frequently to gather inspiration for her amazing collection of costumes.
It all began when this accomplished seamstress was asked to put together some elaborate clothes for a local operatic production. Ruthie's fabrics and designs were a sensation, and a new non-profit was born.
"Costumes for a Cause" is now a major player in many Brainerd area productions and glamorous events. And the collection has grown beyond everyone's expectations. A three-story house on the resort property is now home to hundreds of fanciful and spectacular costumes all created and sewn by Ruthie. Every room from the basement to the attic is packed with sparkling racks of Viennese dresses, clothes for "Cinderella", spooky monsters for Halloween and even Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Minnie.
What started out as just a pastime to while away the winter months has become a major charity that benefits the Brainerd Lakes Community Foundation, and the goal is to raise enough money to build a treatment center for chemically dependent women.