Benefit fashion show opens wide for Mercy’s Door
Sep 25, 2013 | 1051 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fundraiser with a passion for fashion!
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Kyesha Winters epitomize the chic Gatsby era fashion of glitz and glamor at the Fall Fashion Show held at the Dixon Center in Cleveland on Sept. 21, 2013. Banner photos, WILLIAM WRIGHT
A breezy, colorful show with an enthusiastic audience made the 2013 River Worship Center’s Fall Fashion Show a fitting tribute to the “Great Gatsby” era Saturday, and raised, after expenses, more than $13,000 for charity.

Fashion made a bold statement as Bohemian chic blended with Gatsby-era styles that had the near-capacity crowd cheering and applauding local runway models who ranged from children to seniors in modest, flowing dresses and risque outfits that were fun, fashionable and worthy of a fundraiser.

Some of the models were girls from Mercy’s Door children’s home who shouted “We are valuable!” to a cheering crowd who bid on items to support the charitable organization. Area hair designers, makeup artists and celebrity makeup artist Mikel Cain also volunteered to get the models ready for their runway walk at Lee University’s Dixon Center.

The name-brand attire was adventurous and romantic with room for spice. Many of the looks centered around the 1920s with colorful embellishments distracting from any risque cuts. Machelle McCulley, who modeled and emceed during the show, reminded the audience that all the clothes were purchased from local and out of town Thrift Stores with proceeds going to Mercy’s Door children’s homes, a nonprofit organization that serves children and families, providing a home where children between the ages of 6 and 18 can feel safe and get some rest from the storms of life.

Paula Malone, founder of Mercy’s Door, said, “I think this was an even bigger crowd than last year. The ladies doubled in attendance by bringing their friends. We really appreciate the turnout. The RWC fashion show has been such a blessing to the girls, staff and myself at Mercy’s Door in so many ways. Each year we always take something wonderful away from this event. We are blessed to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. There are too many stories to mention, from bigger girls to older girls who walked off that stage with a greater confidence of who they are in Christ. We are blessed to be the recipient of such an incredible event. We have a short fall that we must raise monies for each year and this event always helps us reach our yearly goal. We can’t wait to see what next year brings!”

Last year the fourth annual fundraising event raised about $10,000. Coordinators for this year’s show were very pleased that 2013 exceeded expectations, despite a wet and rainy Saturday morning. The annual fashion event was inspired by Machelle McCulley, wife of Patrick McCully, pastor of the River Worship Center, who said, “We’re grateful to our pastor, our church as well as all the churches and businesses in the community who helped raise money for these children.”

McCulley, a makeup artist and fashionista in her own right, said, “Encouraging and equipping ladies for today’s challenges has long been a passion of mine, along with fashion. I am grateful for the opportunity to bring the two together as a ministry outreach of RWC and a fun outing with both. We are thankful for Lee University allowing us to use the Dixon Center for our venue. It’s a great opportunity to show these kids we’re here for them as a community.”

The ministry was founded by Paula Malone who shares a passion with her husband, Randall, to help children in need. Malone, whose mother was murdered when she was 7, said she can identify with children going through difficult circumstances. Her desire to make a difference resulted in the nonprofit organization Mercy’s Door.

For further information about Mercy’s Door or to make a donation, visit