Fashions for Hope raises money to fight cancer

September 17, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- None of the models in the second annual Fashions for Hope fashion show in Greencastle had ever set foot on a runway before the big show on Tuesday.

While each donned a brand of stage fright as unique as their outfits, every woman shared the same motivation to turn on the catwalk: They wanted to raise money and beat the cancer that once tried to beat them.

Darlene Higgins organized the first show in 2007 with the help of her team as a fundraiser for the Greencastle Relay for Life.

Inspired by a similar event hosted by the Greencastle Lioness Club, Higgins thought the idea would be great inspiration for cancer survivors.


As she gathered ticket stubs for the door prizes on Tuesday, Higgins took a moment to drink in what was unfolding around her at the Kauffman Ruritan.

Last year her team sold 145 tickets and raised almost $1,800. Before the doors opened on Tuesday this year's team sold more than 200 tickets and the tickets for the basket raffles were going like hot cakes, she said.

"This is just unbelievable," Higgins said. "I am a bit stressed out because the day is here, but I do love to organize this event."

Dress Barn of Hagerstown supplied the clothes for the models.

In one year, word of the event spread like wild fire.

Barb Benhardt of Greencastle said after the first show, she told many of her neighbors.

"I told them it was a good dinner filled with great fashion," she said.

Roxanne Smith of Greencastle was intrigued by the event, and was in need of a special outfit for an upcoming reunion, so she decided to come.

"It is for a good cause," she said.

Many of the women Higgins called upon to model would have politely refused were it not for the cause of Relay for Life, she said.

Sue Luchs said she wondered why anyone would ask her to model, but after battling cancer 13 years ago, she felt that she could do almost anything, even model.

"I told my daughter that her 59 year-old mom bagged a modeling job," she said, laughing. "She was stunned."

Most of the women invited family and friends to help ease the nerves of donning three outfits before a room full of strangers.

Yet as the audience clapped and even cat-called the ladies at times, even the most apprehensive of the bunch could not help but grin, kick her heels and wink.

Kim Muller was dancing with nerves before the show, but afterward walked coolly to greet her family.

"Ask me when it is over how I feel," she said. Afterward, she could only smile.

Higgins said the goal for the event was to raise $2,000.

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