In the world of fashion, breathtaking is an oft-used adjective. This Monday afternoon, however, the personal story of one woman guided to a better life by the Salvation Army literally left hundreds breathless.
Roberta was her name, and her testimonial opened the 2013 Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show. In a darkened tent in North Dallas, just moments before runway walks were to begin, a brave survivor of domestic abuse put a face to thousands of victims here in the Metroplex. Roberta’s video detailed a violent relationship, multiple serious injuries, and a fateful call for help. To hundreds of our city’s most glamorous and generous women, the heart wrenching story served as a reminder of those would benefit from the day’s events.
The following facts are also breathtaking. According to Patrick Patey, Public Relations Manager, a vast region of five counties is served by the Salvation Army’s DFW Metroplex Command. Its population exceeds that of the entire state of Oklahoma. Over 70 services are offered, including disaster relief, homeless shelters, substance abuse treatment, and domestic violence programs. Our city’s Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary boasts 500-plus members, and 2012’s annual fundraiser took in over $600,000 for the cause.
The buzz this Monday, May 6th, at the Brook Hollow Golf Club would lead us to believe that 2013 is on track to meet or beat last year’s total.
Beginning at 10 a.m., guests packed a Tootsies-sponsored “Chic Boutique” in the venue’s main hall. Its racks were lined with donated designer apparel and accessories from Dallas’ most enviable closets. We spied Armani, Escada, Carolina Herrera, and many more bold-face names. Ticket prices dipped to $45, $20, even $10 per item. All proceeds benefited the Salvation Army.
And the fashionable philanthropy was just beginning. More designer goods would be up for grabs as the day progressed.
In an hour’s time the crowd swelled to over 600 ladies (and a few gentlemen). At 11:30 a.m., with all seated in a tented runway show pavilion, Roberta’s tale sent its hush over the crowd. Following, emcee Gloria Campos (pictured above) and Auxiliary President Carolyn Miller lead a round of thanks to chairs Karen Dealy and Nancy Bierman (pictured below), as well as honorary chairs Nancy Perot, Suzanne McGee, Carolyn Rathjen, Katherine Reeves, and Sarah Perot. As music came up and models stood at the ready, all were advised to bid generously on the runway show.
And what a show it was. Glowing reviews of the annual Jan Strimple-produced Salvation Army show swirl in the Dallas fashion community, and they are not tall tales. This year’s showcase featured looks styled to perfection from both new and donated designer items.
By Missoni and Akris, Rick Owens and Givenchy, the looks ranged from daywear to evening gowns to avant-garde ensembles. Camera phones flashed throughout the audience as bids were marked with tiny pencils on run-of-show programs.
Just shy of 100 looks walked in total, and we coveted nearly every one. With bids starting at $75, and quickly skyrocketing from there, the show would add much to the day’s total funds raised.
As the audience filed out of the venue, we marveled at the display of stylish generosity. We’d dare to say that Dallas embodies the Auxiliary’s theme, Doing The Most Good …With Your Clothes.
Continuing the giving spirit, a “WEARhouse Sale” follows this annual event. Taking place this Wednesday, May 8th and Thursday May 9th, more clothing and accessories will be available at the Salvation Army Warehouse (9216 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas). The sale is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, and all proceeds will benefit the Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command.
For more information, visit SalvationArmyDFW.org. All photos, credit Sylvia Elzafon for DFW Style Daily.