Fashion show raises money for scholarships

April 06, 1997


Staff Writer

About 100 supporters of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Awards turned out for an evening of good food, gospel music and fashion at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center on West North Avenue Saturday night.

"You know they are always talking about the bad things going on," said Ruth Monroe, the organizer of the 10th annual fashion show. "Well, here is one of the good things going on...If we can give three or four kids $500 scholarships, it's a help."

The $10 admission price for each person attending the show goes to scholarships that will be awarded at the end of the school year to students in Washington County.


Monroe said the hope is that people who earn the scholarships will go to college, return to help the community and get a positive cycle started.

Models from the community showed off duds ranging from polo shirts and jeans to snazzy suits and an array of exotic African-inspired attire.

A highlight of the evening was a toe-tapping, heart-quickening, performance by the Community Choir of Hagerstown, singing "You've Got to Hold on, Help is on the Way," and "Don't You Let Nobody Try to Turn You Around," featuring standout solos by Ruby Settles.

"They sing to praise the Lord and they have fun doing it," said choir organizer and local musician J.T. Blake. Blake is one of several former recipients of the King scholarship at the show.

"Anybody in the community can join," said choir member Gretchen Ehrhardt, who also modeled in the fashion show in her bright red dress and gold shoes.

Johnathan Street barber Leonard W. Cooper, "Mr. Fashion," wowed the crowd with a variety of slick suits.

Cooper said he's done a number of fashion shows in the area, and enjoys showing off new clothes. "I'm a fashion plate at church every Sunday," he said.

Cooper said events like this were good because they help bring the community together. "It's a shame that we don't have more participation," he said. "It's for all."

Cooper said he would like to see more white people come to events like this - the only ones present were a Herald-Mail reporter and photographer.

For Electa Rideout, 27, of Chambersburg, Pa., Friday was her first taste of modeling, but possible not her last. "It was fun," she said. She also liked the community atmosphere.

Sharon Campbell, who modeled in light green matching with her daughter Kimberly, 3, said she's been doing the fashion shows since they started, and with good reason - Monroe is her mother. Campbell said the shows are more than just an excuse to see family.

"It's an excuse to go buy some clothes," she said.

Eric Rollins, 10, who modeled a black suit with no collar, said he likes the limelight. "I liked it when I first came out and everybody was looking at me," he said.

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