Secondhand fashion benefit puts on first-rate show
by MELISSA SNYDER Banner, Lifestyles Writer
Oct 06, 2010 | 2181 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PASSION FOR FASHION — Brittany Morrow,  was a sophisticated trendsetter in this secondhand hair ornament she showcased in the benefit fashion show.
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Chic suits, voguish cocktail dresses, dapper leisure wear and snazzy clothing items highlighted the runway at River Worship Center in Delano for the second annual fashion show.

All proceeds and ticket sales from the successful event benefited Woman at the Well, a live-in ministry home for women and Mercy’s Door, a home for children and teens whose parents have been affected by the drug epidemic. According to Patrick and Machelle McCulley, River Worship Center’s pastors, both of these ministries are doing much-needed work with people in the local community.

“They are working with people that have been severely affected by the drug problem in our local area,” Pastor Patrick said.

Machelle, who served as emcee for the classy event, had the vision a couple of years ago. She kept the dream alive and is thrilled to see it come to fruition as a worthwhile and meaningful occasion. Educating women to be beautiful, self-assured and confident as well as godly is Machelle’s passion.

She believes a woman who feels good about herself is an empowered woman. She communicates to them that there is nothing wrong with being a Christian woman who is confident and beautiful too.

“I teach a class at our church on Wednesdays to equip the women with God’s Word and with practical advice on how to be more productive as a mother, wife and businesswoman and to not let themselves fall by the wayside in the process of handling all their responsibilities as women,” Machelle said.

“It was her vision to bring a New York-style fashion show to the local community and infuse culture with God’s Kingdom,” said Pastor McCulley.

The event, centered around raising money, was also a ritzy affair — bringing out men and women whose expectations were fulfilled when the impressive fashions took the runway.

The clothing items, which took Machelle six months to shop for, came from consignment, thrift and secondhand shops. The coordinated outfits were modeled by local people of all ages and sizes, each one with their own fan base. With assistance from approximately 30 others who caught her vision everything was taken care of — from ticket sales to logistics to valet parking.

“Over 215 tickets were sold making this year’s event a sellout,” said Machelle. “We had 70 different outfits ranging from casual to formal to wedding attire for men and women. All of them sold except for four. We wanted to show that dressing in style can be affordable for everyone on any budget.

Attendees and participants were thrilled to take part in the fashion show. Some comments included: “This is more than I expected.”

“It felt just like a New York style show.”

The outfits and prices wowed me.”

Sheri Vincent, who attended, said, “The fashion show was wonderful. It was a great way to teach people to recycle clothes while raising money for a very important cause. I enjoyed it and look forward to next year.”

“Women always want to look beautiful and women simply enjoy being girlie,” said Machelle.

For churches, clubs or organizations wishing to do something similar to the benefit show, the McCulleys suggest they make sure the organizers’ leadership is behind it first and foremost and to spend a lot of time planning with a dedicated team.

“We can’t wait until next year’s event,” said Machelle. “We will hold it in a larger venue.”

Anyone desiring to donate to the ministries the fashion show benefited can do so by going to River Worship Center's We-site at and clicking on the “donate” button.

“I want to teach women they can be in style and feel beautiful without it costing them a fortune. In this economy I think that is important.” — Machelle McCulley