Fashions raise funds for eye bank

November 15, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

HAGERSTOWN -- Leslie Hobbs is president of the Hagerstown Lioness Club, which held its Fabulous Gift of Sight fashion show Sunday at the Grand Venice Hotel on Dual Highway.

Hobbs also is the daughter of the late Jane Davidson, who benefited from two corneal transplants in the early 1990s.

"Everything was just very blurry and she had a hard time reading" before the transplants, Hobbs said.

Afterward, Davidson could see colors better, as well as musical notes, which she needed when she played piano.

The Hagerstown Lioness Club has been holding the fashion show, which benefits the Medical Eye Bank of Maryland, almost every year since 1984, said B. Marie Byers, the club's first president and co-chairwoman of the fashion show.

Last year, the club didn't hold the show because the economy wasn't doing well, said Sandy Burns, event co-chairwoman.

Club officials are hoping to raise $1,000 from ticket sales for this year's event. Approximately 140 people were in the audience and tickets cost $15 per person. The 2007 fashion show raised $1,200, Byers said.


Proceeds will help pay for education, and lab equipment and instruments, said Patricia Murphy, executive director of the Medical Eye Bank of Maryland.

People can sign up to be corneal donors when they get or renew their driver's license, or by going to Murphy said people who sign up to be donors should make their family aware of their wishes.

Since the 1980s, Maryland has had enough donors to meet the need in the state, Murphy said. There are about 42,000 corneal transplants every year in the U.S., including about 300 in Maryland, she said.

The fashion show featured clothes from the Uptown Shoppes of Downtown Hagerstown: Lena's of Hagerstown, The Boutique and L&L Classic Clothes. The show featured 22 models, including Hobbs, Burns and Pat Kelley.

Kelley, 61, of Hagerstown, said she would be modeling four outfits, including an eggplant-colored full skirt with a brown-, tan- and eggplant-colored top, and a beaded necklace.

Kelley has modeled for the show for 10 years, occasionally buying some of the clothes she modeled because people complimented her on how she looked in them.

"It's like playing dress-up," Kelley said.

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