Third annual Catwalk for a Cause raises thousands of dollars for United Way

The third annual Catwalk for a Cause to benefit the United Way was held Sunday, Nov. 22. Over 100 models helped to showcase a variety of local fashions from a dozen retailers at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Rutland.

Models, make-up and hair artists and retailers arrived for the first dress rehearsal at 8:30 a.m. and ran through the show multiple times before curtain call at 4 p.m.

“Do any of you know children, do any of you know teens, do any of you know seniors, do any of you know folks who’ve struggled with alcohol or drug addictions?” asked Nanci Gordon, executive director for the United Way of Rutland County, of the morning audience. “The United Way provides support of local organizations who are dedicated to health, education and income instability to help make everyone an independent and productive member of our community once again,” she said, thanking the retailers, hair and make-up artists and models for volunteering their time to help the United Way.

Base Camp Outfitters, Cabi, Deja New, Overland, Sister Wicked, Green Bandit Production, Basin Sports, Body Gears & Penguin Jacks, McNeil & Reedy, Raw Honey and Fruition each displayed collections. Hair and make-up stylists from Five Elements Salon, Avanti, O’Briens and Bellezza Salon at the Stafford Technical Center beautified the models with stage make-up and hair — glitter, bold colors were common, some went further painting themselves with strong animal influences, other included real animals on the runway! Dogs and rabbits helped present a few of the “looks” on stage, to the audience’s enjoyment.

After the Catwalk show, judges and audience members were asked to vote for their favorite looks.

The People’s Choice Award went to a Rutland’s Deja New. The Most Creative Award went to Overland from Manchester, and Best Overall Look went to Fruition of Rutland.

After the fashion show ended, Lily Fangz, a Colorado-based rapper performed several songs while attendees had the chance to text in donations, which benefited six drug and alcohol abuse organizations specifically. After the 10 minute drive, the audience had raised nearly $8,000 for addiction prevention!

Additionally, local belly-dancers from Cobra Gymnastics entertained the crowd with their high-energy show.

“The event is good exposure for area retailer and stylist and it’s a fun competition, but the whole reason for the event is to raise money and awareness for the United Way, which helps 32 non-profit organizations in our community,” said Kelly Logan, owner of Five Elements Salon and Day Spa, and head organizer of the event.

Keeping the show going smoothly and color-commenting along the way were emcees Kwame Dankwa, from Z.97, and Kathy Korza, a stylist in NYC and judge from last year’s event. Dave Hoffenberg from Artist Entertainment Agency deejayed the show, matching appropriate music with each retailers “look.”

By Polly Lynn

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