Literacy gets fashionableThe United Way’s first ever fashion show is a girl’s night out with a bonus. While gals are just having fun, proceeds of the good time support the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
The United Way’s first ever fashion show is a girl’s night out with a bonus.
While gals are just having fun, proceeds of the good time support the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
The nonprofit fosters a love of reading among preschool-age children by providing them with a new age appropriate book each month. Since its inception in 1996, the program has gone from mailing a few dozen books to providing 40 million books in the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom.
Today, 1,600 local communities, including Douglas County, offer free books mailed monthly to the homes of 700,000 children.
The program costs about $27 per year per child, said Kathi Madsen, executive director of the United Way of Superior-Douglas County. The United Way is the local sponsor of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library serving youth in Douglas County.
Madsen said after members of her board attended a similar event in Duluth, they brought the idea back to Douglas County.
“I don’t even know if I’ve ever attended a fashion show,” Madsen said. “I don’t attend wine and cheese tastings. I don’t attend auctions, so when they asked, I said ‘Sure, we can do this.”
Immediately, they reserved Fairlawn Mansion and Museum for the event slated for Thursday.
The next step was to figure out who would do the wine and cheese, who would supply the fashions, and begin collecting new and gently used purses, as well as gifts to auction during the event.
“I talked to Kim Moen at Wine Beginnings and told her we were going to do this event,” Madsen said. “… We called Sarabella’s for clothes, Tami (LaPole of Art in the Alley) is providing outfits … Northwest Outlet is providing outfits.” Younkers is also planning to participate, she said.
The event, which runs 5-7:30 p.m., features a social hour with wine tasting from 5 to 6 p.m. At 6 p.m., the fashion show begins.
Between walks down the runway, the emcee will be auctioning off gift baskets and participants will be able to purchase the donated purses that models use as part of the fashion show.
Some of the purses may contain certificates; others will contain a note letting the buyers know “you just got me,” Madsen said.
“We just keep repeating,” Madsen said. “Fill your wine glass. Have some more cheese. The next set of models will come out. Here’s the next basket; here’s the next purses.”
Tickets for the event are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Art in the Alley, Wine Beginnings, M&I Bank, United Way and from members of the United Way board.
“We still need new and gently used purses, and if they have a story, we’d like to have the story with them,” Madsen said. “We need people who just want to go out and have a little fun before the end of the week.”
Proceeds from the event benefit the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
“We will have cards available if people just want to sponsor a child for a year,” Madsen said. “Reading’s really important for kids and having something that’s their book … they can grab their little book and read.”
To learn more about the imagination library, go to www.unitedwayofsuperior.org/partners/imagination-library.htm.