‘Hard Hats and Heels’
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Apr 30, 2014 | 2302 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Habitat fundraiser takes the catwalk
GROUPS of ladies have participated in the Habitat for Humanity’s “Pay to Play” program offered under the Women Build project. Money raised through the endeavor will go toward funding a home for Maria Perez and her children.
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Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland will break out the catwalk Saturday for its first Hard Hats and Heels event to benefit the Maria Perez family.

The unique fashion show will take place in Toyota of Cleveland’s maintenance shop. Events coordinator Brittany Sloan assured the shop is kept clean, and the men chosen to model the hard hats are ready for their spot in the limelight.

Some will even wear heels.

“If they want to, they can. I am not going to stop that,” Sloan said with a laugh. “Some of them were like, ‘Yeah, why not?’ We have men in the community who are very excited and want to wear the hard hats.’”

Familiar faces will be found under the decorated hard hats, like Toyota of Cleveland employees and Habitat’s own executive director, Matt Carlson.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with Cinco de Mayo-themed food provided by Tasteful Gatherings and music performed by The Ambitions. Rows of seats will be set up around the catwalk in imitation of fashion shows found around the world. Individuals, groups and businesses can pay to purchase a row.

Tickets are available for students, $25; individuals, $30; and couples, $50.

“We have never done anything like this,” Sloan said. “It is different. We think it is going to be a great date night for people, and also for students who want to come out. It is going to be a very full entertainment night.”

Evie West of the Cleveland Police Department will serve as the night’s emcee. She will keep the night moving through the hard hats fashion show and on to the auction. Each hard hat will be sponsored by a business with decorations to include items like gift cards. An auction will be held after the fashion show.

Comedian and local favorite Karen Mills will end the night with laughter.

Tickets can be purchased at the door.

Sloan explained Hard Hats and Heels is a part of the Women Build project. The goal is to raise $10,000 through the event. An additional $10,000 will be raised through Women Build’s 10-week program Pay to Play, which encourages groups of women to pay a set fee to work on Maria Perez’s house for a day.

Sloan said she has joined the ladies for the various builds.

“It is always fun to learn something new. I’ve always respected construction, but it is a whole other element after I’ve worked a full day and I am sore, and I’ve hit my finger a few times with a hammer,” she said. “It is challenging, but fun. You are doing something for someone else.”

Added Sloan, “It is a labor of love.” 

The success of both components of the Women Build project will result in the $20,000 needed to pay for the foundation of Perez’s house.

Funds raised through this year’s Bike to Build will be used to finance the remaining construction costs.

Sloan encouraged local college students, couples, friends, families and individuals to check out the event. More information can be found at habitatofcleveland.org under the “events” tab.