When you think of the Fashion Industry as a whole, the first thoughts that probably come to mind are the vain egotistical plots and twist of the hit movie The Devil Wears Prada. Though bits and pieces of that movie may be true for some but in actuality behind that thin veneer of superficiality is one of the most philanthropically known industries in this country. Whether it’s Ralph Lauren’s Pink Pony Fund to fight breast cancer, to Ken Coles AmFar Foundation for AIDS Research, to Gucci’s partnership with UNIECF, giving back has always been a key component of the Fashion Industry.
If you’ve ever visited the Facebook page of Dayton Fashion Week you’ll notice that we are listed as a Community Organization. When I first came on board at DFW in October 2011, Junda and I both emphasized the importance of not just giving back but reaching out to the people of the Miami Valley. For me it was second nature to be active in the community, I’ve been a volunteer since the age of 12, volunteering for such organizations as The Buckeye Trails Girl Scout Council as a Camp Aide, to the Anpo O Project which delivers school supplies the Standing Rock Reservation in S.Dakota where the dropout rate for students is 85%, to The Action Youth Outreach Program which teaches entrepreneurial skills for inner city and “at-risk” youth using STEM Curriculum, to being a Guest Speaker for the My Beauty is Priceless Seminars which teaches young girls tools of empowerment from spirituality, cooking, education, and personal appearance, not to mention I sign up to volunteer for almost every event that takes place in the City of Dayton!
For Junda, who is new to the area this would serve as her opportunity to see just how great the people of the City of Dayton and surrounding areas are. Since word of Dayton Fashion Week broke Junda has been blown away by all of the hospitality, support, and encouragement that everyone has shown towards our Inaugural event! During our first two casting calls, we collected can goods for the Dayton Food Pantry and doesn’t stop there–we are very happy to present Dayton Fashion Week Gives Back! On Saturday May 19 we will be launching the first of many outings geared towards giving back to the community and raising awareness for important causes starting with our models and staff taking part in a build for Habitat for Humanity http://www.daytonhabitat.org.
As a producer for 91.3 FM WYSO’s Community Voices, I’ve been working on a story about The Vision Keepers and The Circle of Courage re-entry and recovery program which is a local non-profit organization that provides clothing, bus tokens, emergency toiletries and support groups. Founded by the late Dr. Robin Herman, the organization is now headed up by the 2011 Justice Award recipient Khadijah Ali and falls under the 2011 Dayton’s Ten Top Women Award recipient MaryAnn Angel’s Two Tree organization, http://www.twotreesinc.org/vision_keepers.shtml. Dayton Fashion Week will host a fundraiser for this organization in August of 2012. More details will be announced soon.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m very cautious of the company that I keep and I apply those same life rules to DFW and I’m honored to be amongst such good company. I’ve heard several models refer to Dayton Fashion Week as a family and I can honestly say that we probably have the most amazing team filled with positive, caring and supportive people who aside from our love for fashion we are also into building each other up and building lasting bonds and friendships.
Since our Pre-Launch Party in March the models have been asking us to get together for a fun outing sp that we can spend more time getting to know each other and it was suggested that we form a team and be a part of the Mud Volley for Epilepsy. So when I called the Epilepsy Foundation of Western Ohio to inquire about what was needed to form a team I was a surprised when the Director asked us to do more than just form a team she wanted us to form a partnership–after all we’re both very small organizations, and both heavily dependent on volunteers so we came up with a couple of ideas about how we can help each other out we will be providing more details soon but in the meantime be sure to sign your team up at http://www.daytonmud.com. We hope to see you all on July 14!!
July 24 will mark the official start of Dayton Fashion Week and we will be kicking things off with Fashion for a Cause! This event will consist of a silent auction, live entertainment, and a local celebrity fashion show. Proceeds from this event will go to our charitable partners Clothes That Work http://www.clothesthatwork.org and Hospice of Dayton http://www.hospiceofdayton.org . This event will take place from 6pm-9pm at the Dayton Masonic Temple located at 525 W. Riverview Ave., Dayton OH 45405.
July 28 does not mark the end of Dayton Fashion Week’s activities for 2012. We are 100% committed to being a part of the revitalization of Dayton and the entire Miami Valley year round. For more details about how you can help out with these worthy causes please click on the links provided and for more information on Dayton Fashion Week Gives Back please “Like” our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/daytonfashion.