HopeWest stages 8th annual fashion show to benefit grieving children

Laurel Bartholomay, right, and Cindy Neal swirl scarves to highlight clothes and other accessories from Main Paige, a downtown Grand Junction specialty shop, at Sunday’s HopeWest Holiday Fashion Show and Luncheon.

Ruth Feild, above right, and other women model evening gowns at the HopeWest Fashion Show and Luncheon on Sunday at the DoubleTree Hotel.

Jana Thomas lip-syncs to a popular song while showing a sleeveless, drop-waist dress at the Sunday show.

Models walk out onto the runway with scarves fluttering over their heads during HopeWest’s Holiday Fashion Show on Sunday at the Doubletree Hotel.

HopeWest’s annual Holiday Fashion Show and Luncheon has been one of the toughest tickets in town for years, but, finally, after years of missing the popular event, Cristal Loehr got her foot in the door.

The local woman was one of dozens of volunteers who helped stage the event Saturday and Sunday at DoubleTree Hotel, helping HopeWest raise funds for its HopeWest Kids program, which provides support to youth grieving the death of a loved one.

It was the first time in the eight-year history of the perennially sold-out show that Loehr was able to attend.

“There is an expectation from this community to sort of kick off the holiday season with this event,” said Debbie Horwitz, vice president of development for HopeWest.

The combination of the worthy cause and the fashion that Beth Bauerle, owner of Main Paige, 542 Main St., brings to the runway has made the event a successful one for years.

In fact, the HopeWest Holiday Fashion Show and Luncheon has generated nearly $1 million for HopeWest Kids in the eight-year history of the event, said Christy Whitney, HopeWest president and chief executive officer.

Loehr said she saw the “phenomenal” work of HopeWest Kids in the several years she was principal at Fruita 8-9.

“Having someone trained in grief counseling” was invaluable for her former students.

This was the final time Bauerle, who has worked with other local nonprofit groups for years in a similar capacity, will collaborate with HopeWest on the two-day holiday fashion show, Horwitz said.

“She’s remarkable for what she’s given back to the community,” Horwitz added of Bauerle.

HopeWest officials aren’t sure what the organization will do next year without Bauerle, but Horwitz said some sort of event the weekend before Thanksgiving will continue because it’s been such a positive fundraiser.

“What I can tell you is it will be fabulous,” Horwitz said.


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