Tickets for the 2014 River Worship Center’s Fall Fashion Show on at Lee University’s Dixon Center are going fast.
The annual charity benefit, set for Sept. 6 at 11 a.m., is promising to be even bigger and better than last year’s fashion show which paid tribute to the “Great Gatsby” era.
The theme for this year’s red carpet event is, “My Hero Is Coming to My Rescue,” inspired by the lyrics of worship artist Catherine Mullins. The runway show, with a hint of Cinderella charm, will feature fashions that lend themselves to an enchanted evening of eye-popping fashions and chic designs laced with the latest in shrugs, boots and new wave wedding gowns.
Last year’s fundraising gala raised more than $10,000 for Mercy’s Door Children’s Homes to benefit needy youths ages 6 to 18. Mercy’s Door founder, Paula Malone, and makeup artist Machelle McCulley said they are excited about this year’s event and hope to shatter the record set in attendance and funds raised last year.
The twofold goal, according to McCulley, is to raise funds for Mercy’s Door and empower women by teaching them the importance of dressing for success and maximizing their beauty.
“Some people ask, ‘What’s the big deal about clothes?’” McCulley said. “I think clothes, hair and makeup makes you the total package. You feel better when you have more self-esteem. I find a lot of gratification in teaching women to see themselves in a beautiful light. It’s very fulfilling. For me, to be able to teach someone how to dress and wear makeup is as helpful as teaching a baby how to walk. As women, we need to realize that it’s a privilege to be able to take pride in ourselves.”
According to McCulley, there will be 78 models wearing two outfits each. They have been working 10 and 12 hour days with a team of 12 people getting them ready.
“Some of the girls cried because they looked so good and felt so good about themselves,” McCulley said. “To help women move forward with their style, I pulled out items that are easy, some hard and some in the middle. This triangle approach works for people who aren’t sure of themselves. It teaches them to get out of their comfort zone and try new styles.”
This year even the lobby will be transformed into a runway, adding to the glitz and glamor of the occasion, according to McCulley.
“This year will feature the layered look, shrugs, long sweaters with short boots, modern chic, including knee boots and out-of-the-box brides with vintage and bohemian brides — one dressed in a black wedding gown and another dressed in a gold wedding gown. That’s the big thing right now — colored wedding dresses. It’s going to be absolutely amazing!” McCulley said. “We’re going to have stiletto high heel shoe chairs — you sit in them! We’re going to be auctioning them off as well as vintage furniture that was donated.”
In fact, all of the name brand outfits, voguish shoes and accessories modeled will be available for purchase after the show. A special treat for those attending the fashion fundraiser will be Tria Montgomery, the director of Onstage Dance Company, presenting a special live stage performance of a dance from the blockbuster Disney motion picture “Frozen.’
“We believe this show is going to be bigger and even more exciting than last year!” McCulley announced. “Of course, we want to break the record this year, but personally, I’m more excited for all the girls involved and the new businesses that have come on board.”
All of the models are local volunteers as well as girls from Mercy’s Door children’s homes. Area hair designers, makeup artists and cosmetology students from Cleveland High School and Bradley Central High have also volunteered to get the models ready for their big runway walk.
The clothes will be coming from various thrift stores in Atlanta, hideaway boutiques in Florida and other areas, according to McCulley, who added, “They are not going to believe the items we’ve found! These are very, very different fashions. I’m really excited!”
When asked about the theme, “My Hero Is Coming to My Rescue,” McCulley explained, “Of course, Jesus is our hero who saves us. But we can also be heroes to these children. We can be used as a rescue for them. Last year, the money we raised for them was exactly what their deficit was. We do not realize and we cannot know what this will mean to these children in generations to come.”
Mercy’s Door Children’s Homes was founded in 2004 by Paula Malone, who was inspired to help needy children going through tough times after her mother was murdered when she was a little girl. Three homes are used to house children from a variety of backgrounds.
According to Malone, who shares a passion with her husband, Randall, to help children in need, Mercy’s Door is a place designed “to allow children to heal in heart, grow in character and experience peace of mind.”
Malone said, “The RWC fashion show has been such a blessing to the girls, staff and myself at Mercy’s Door in so many ways.”
McCulley, wife of Patrick McCulley, who pastors the River Worship Center, said, “We’re grateful to all the people, churches and businesses in the community who are helping us raise money for these special children.”
Advance tickets for the 2014 Fall Fashion show can be purchased at the Headquarters Beauty Salon at 3423 Keith St., Cleveland and by contacting Machelle McCulley at 309-8346, or visit: www.riverworshipcenter.com.