When Women Help Women with Fashion and Heart
As the chair of the annual Grace Centers of Hope Women Helping Women Luncheon and Fashion Show, I can’t share enough how grateful I am for the many supporters, sponsors, committee members and volunteers it took to make the event, yet again, a successful one this year! Last year, in Spring of 2017, I decided the event needed a little spicing up and needed updates that would benefit the luncheon community, Grace Centers of Hope and the fashion community. The show already was a beautiful one but we’ve been doing the same thing year after year, and I wanted to bring more excitement to the event in honor of Grace. It was a bold move, but I knew it would be a facelift all would enjoy and a step that could bring in more guests and supporters than the previous year. At least that was my goal. What did this facelift entail? We added Michigan designers to the fashion show in support of local professionals in our very own backyard that have to-die-for designs. “Keep the money in the mitten,” they say, yes, but I knew what Bonnie Foley, Cynthia LaMaide and Katerina Bocci had to offer. With the help of Cheryl Hall of RGA Model Management, together we created a great show with a fresh new look that excited guests who were eager to learn more about their neighbors as well as support the women of Grace. Last May, we produced a winning fashion show none the less. It was an idea that left everyone wanting more.
Photos from 2017 – Belong to Glamorous Moms and The Lazov Agency
In planning a luncheon & fashion show, I always want to out-do myself from the previous year. I thrive off of pleasing and surprising the crowd and always want to do my very best for my charity. The key to producing a successful event is to give the audience what they want, keep it fresh and exciting and never leave out the close connections that want the same bottom line with the same will to give. So this year, of course, we kept our emcee and my great friend Ann Marie LaFlamme of WXYZ and another great friend, RGA Model Management’s Cheryl Hall Lindsay. With Ann Marie being a local girl with a Catholic school background who is well known in the Metro Detroit community for her belief in God and keeping the streets safe with WXYZ and Cheryl Hall Lindsay being the runway guru that she is, the formula of professionals brought to the event was a win-win. Cheryl and I are great friends, and with my experience and her extensive knowledge in fashion and her charisma that warms our crowd with every spoken word, together we both brought expertise that took our event to the very next level. The three of us certainly are a great combination.
Other supportive professionals and vendors that have been with us for years, are Emerald City Designs, Luxe Linens, The Royal Park Hotel and Blue World Productions. All of these businesses and their professionals helped make the 2018 20th anniversary luncheon and fashion show even better than 2017.
The fashion? Oh yes, we brought it this year and along with Carson’s (children’s clothes), our fashion show consisted of Max Mara, Lilly Pulitzer, L.K. Bennett London, Halston Heritage, and three Michigan Designers; Bonnie Foley of Christiane LaRue, Katerina Bocci of Katerina Bocci Designs as well as Rachelle Willnus of Derby Hats by Rachelle. The show was quite amazing.
The event, held from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday, April 21, 2018, could not have been possible without our committee, the Grace team and our beautiful 6 women from Grace Centers of Hope (in the featured photo above) currently enrolled in Grace’s programs who walked the runway. The ladies did an excellent job, and we did our best to make them and the rest of the women at Grace proud. Also, thank you to our wonderful sponsors! Our sponsors made the day happen with their big hearts and supportive generosity. The event’s Signature sponsor wishes to remain anonymous. The Diamond sponsor was The Moceri Family, Platinum sponsor was Volkswagen Group of America, and the Silver sponsors were Mad Dog Technology, Emerson Wealth Management, Luxe, Bull Run Press, Emerald City Designs, and the Royal Park Hotel where the event was held. The bronze sponsors were Denise Warren and Cara Besh. Hair and makeup were done by the generous and very talented professionals of Luigi Bruni Salon.
Grace Centers of Hope has been a catalyst, impacting the lives of hurting women and children in southeast Michigan, for the last 27 years. I’m happy to say; our event raised 33% more than last year in honor of the women’s programs at Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac, Michigan. The programs provide a multitude of services uniquely focused on the needs of women who are determined to remove themselves from abusive and addictive environments. Like all programs at Grace Centers of Hope, the Women’s One Year Life Skills Program is supported solely by private and corporate donations, as they do not accept any government funding.
Last year, The Women Helping Women Luncheon and Fashion Show raised over $130,000 for the Women’s & Children’s Program at Grace Centers of Hope, allowing us to serve over 80,000 meals and provide over 25,000 nights of stay for the women and children in the programs. This year, we hosted over 550 women at the Royal Park Hotel and I thank each, and every one of you for your contributions, your attendance, and your sponsorships. Together, we are making a difference. Thank you!
2018 – 20th Annual Women Helping Women Luncheon and Fashion Show
Select Photos – Emily Stieber, Rachelle Willnus