Lights, music and high fashion will create a New York-style fashion show at Lee University’s Dixon Center Saturday as part of the fourth annual River Worship Center fundraising event for Mercy’s Door Children’s Homes.
The event will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. on 11th Street. The event is $15 and tickets can be purchased at Poppeas Children Boutique, Headquarters Salon and the McKenzie Athletic building at Lee University.
This annual event grew out of the River Worship Center pastor’s wife, Machelle McCulley’s heart for women. Her husband, Patrick McCulley, is pastor.
“Our pastor’s wife is so fashionable and she is always giving all the women in the church stuff,” said Paula Malone of Mercy’s Door. “She is just really burdened for women.”
McCulley also enjoys showing women “you can look really, really nice, like you came out of New York and not spend a fortune.”
“When you get confidence on the outside, you begin to have confidence on the inside,” Malone said.
Out of this love for women grew an opportunity to raise money for Mercy’s Door with a fashion show of name-brand donated items.
Malone said anyone who comes will be amazed at the outfits. Clothing featured in the show will be available for sale afterward. Most of the items will be $40 or below. Brands represented include White House Black Market, Anthropologie, Gucci, etc.
Rings, fedoras and berets made by McCulley will also be featured in the show.
“It is going to be amazing,” Malone said.
Hors d’oeuvres will also be served before the fashion show.
“And along the way Machelle is going to talk to us about how we as women are captivating to God, He created us and we are beautiful to him,” Malone said.
Each year a few of the girls from Mercy’s Door are involved in the fashion show as models. They are also involved in planning and set-up for the event. Although Mercy’s Door receives some state funding, $68,000 of its budget comes from donations and fundraising efforts, Malone said.
Last year, the event raised approximately $4,000 for the organization. This year Mercy’s Door hopes to raise $10,000 to $12,000.
Mercy’s Door began as a home for boys about five years ago. A home for girls was added later when a need for such a facility was seen.
“When we first started we had 12 boys,” Malone said.
There are six boys in each home, and a home for girls that houses eight.
“We keep it small, so that it’s a family environment,” Malone said.
She said the three homes are always full.
Through character education and teaching the children about God, Malone said the organization works with the children to break cycles of abuse, poverty and hurt in their lives. She said forgiveness is a main component of that.
“A lot of these kids have never heard, ‘You will be successful,’” Malone said. “A lot of them were put down.”
The ministry was born out of Malone’s passion to help children. Malone’s mother was murdered when she was 7, and she said can relate to children going through tough circumstances.
Malone said she came to a point where she had to listen to her faith, to the wisdom of people she said God had put in her life as part of her healing process.
“God has restored and healed a lot of things in me, my brothers, sisters, cousins ... my adopted mom,” Malone said.
She said her family actively helps with the ministry.