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The Crowd: Reaching out to abused children

March 14, 2012|By B.W. Cook
  • INSPIRING-Mary Allyn Dexter, Dale San Filippo and honoree Lauri Burns who shared her personal story of coming from abuse to salvation.
INSPIRING-Mary Allyn Dexter, Dale San Filippo and honoree… (unknown, Daily…)

The numbers are still coming in a week after the event.

Organizers hope to reach a grand tally of $250,000 raised at the annual "For The Love of A Child" fashion show and luncheon, held at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa on March 5, and chaired by the dynamic and dedicated team of Diana Miner and Kristen James.

Some 400 women and a sprinkling of gentlemen converged upon the hotel near Fashion Island for the first major spring fashion show of the season on the Orange Coast. Sponsored once again by the generous management team at South Coast Plaza, under the supervision of community relations executive Kathryn Glassmyer Cenci, the runway production had plenty of New York style as the lines of some of the hottest designers on the planet were showcased for the admiring crowd.

This year's spring lines are feminine and fabulous, with a return to vibrant color and alluring fabric choices. On the catwalk this year were exceptionally young models, barely into their 20s, tall and thin as required showing off long locks, minimal makeup and unbelievably high, strappy overly designed platform shoes.

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Standouts from the designers included fashions from DKNY, Saks Fifth Avenue, Escada, Tory Burch, Canali, Calypso St. Barth and St. John. In the crowd was the founder of St. John, Marie St. John Gray, honored for her incredible career revolutionizing worldwide fashion trends, a career which began in her garage. Tribute was also paid to Marie's husband, Bob Gray, the business force behind the St. John empire who passed away in February.

The sexiest rags on the runway came from the design house of Versace, with one evening gown in particular creating a "wow" sensation in the audience. The floor-length gown, cut extremely low in the back with fabric just above the derriere, created a major buzz.

In addition to the dedicated chairs, the Childhelp fashion show committee working to create the success was led by Orange County chapter President Pam Pharris. Assisting Pharris were Nancy Cardin, Patti Edwards, Katherine Meredith, Gina Van Ocker, Shan Womack and Joyce Simon. Also deserving credit: Joy Estrada, Jennifer Kite, Dale San Filippo, Michele Terpstra, Nancy Whitlock, Leah Carroll, Debra Violette, Mary Allyn Dexter and Jacquie Casey.

The fashion show was the icing on the cake. All the glitz, the glamour and the fun attracted the crowd for a much more serious purpose.

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