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County Medical Society Alliance hosts brunch and fashion show

March 08, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Working like a quick-change artist, Bonnie White went through about two dozen variations on basic black and white outfits and accessories in a matter of minutes Sunday afternoon at Wilson College, and she had yet to get to pink, almond, cognac, robin's egg blue, salmon and mint.

In about 45 minutes, the "Doctor of Closetology" went through a rapid-fire presentation to 165 women on how to make the most out of a wardrobe.

"It's not about buying a lot of things. It's about buying the right things," White told members and guests at a champagne brunch and silent auction hosted by the Franklin County Medical Society Alliance.

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By the end of the brunch, more than $3,000 had been raised, not in clothing sales, but in money for several charities the alliance supports, according to President Gabrielle Ludwick. The alliance, made up of the spouses of physicians, has been serving Franklin County charitable organizations since 1923, she said.

Sunday's brunch and fashion presentation was a first for the alliance, said Ludwick, whose husband, David, is an ophthalmologist. It may, however, become an annual event "because a lot of the women really enjoyed it," she said.

White, who lives in Hagerstown, is a district sales manager for several counties in Southcentral Pennsylvania for the Doncaster clothing line. Sunday, she handed out sage fashion advice to the audience which was, with about two exceptions, female.

"You can't have a first impression the second time around," White said, noting people make about a dozen decisions about someone in the first minute they meet and more than half are based on how one looks.

"Everything in your closet should be an interview suit," something that fits right and feels like a million bucks, she said. Dressing in one color from head-to-toe "makes you look taller and thinner."

A scarf is a great accessory, but if it is the wrong one, White said, "It looks like it's wearing you instead of you wearing it."

The brunch was a pleasant way to pass a few hours and raise a few thousand dollars. The alliance, which has about 40 members, contributes money it raises to groups including the YMCA; the Women In Need program for abused women; House of Grace, a transitional life skills program for women; and Enough Is Enough, a support group for the families of substance abusers, according to Ludwick.

The county alliance is associated with statewide and national alliances of physicians' spouses, according to Phyllis Crispen, whose husband, John, is a pathologist at Chambersburg Hospital.

One of the alliance's national programs is Stop America's Violence Everywhere, Crispen said. The county alliance's support of WIN and other programs dealing with domestic violence, she said.

Ludwick said the alliance also works to build healthier communities through by participating in public health promotions. For one, the alliance printed up 10,000 wallet-size cards listing 10 different drug and alcohol crisis hotlines that are distributed through public schools.

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