Words and Photography by Cassie Miller
How Members of Bethany Village Brought the Two Together for a Worthy Cause
At Bethany Village, models of all ages strut their stuff through a packed dining hall for a good cause. Every year, the Bethany Village Auxiliary plans and hosts a fashion show and luncheon in an effort to raise funds for the auxiliary and the community.
Established in 1972, the auxiliary at Bethany Village is pressed with providing social programs and events to the residents as well as assisting with any other needs the community may have. Nearly 250 members work year-round to ensure the events and activities, which the residents of Bethany Village enjoy, happen.
The skilled-care and assisted-living programs at Bethany Village provide the auxiliary with a “wish list” of items they need to better care for the residents of the Maple Wood assisted-living and the Oaks skilled-care facilities. This list can include anything from wheelchairs, to special mattresses, to patio furniture.
While the fashion show is not currently open to the public, it does receive a number of sponsors from local businesses. Blooms by Vickrey of Camp Hill provides the floral centerpieces at each table with Chico’s providing the women’s clothing for the models. The men’s fashion is provided by Men’s Wearhouse, and a Mary Kay representative does the make-up for each model.
After the show, a basket raffle takes place. Each basket is sponsored by a local vendor or business and features items from Michael Kors, Yankee Candle and several local wineries.
The models are a mixture of residents, caregivers and administrators at the facility who have all witnessed the good done by the auxiliary for the community and its residents. Additionally, every member of the auxiliary has a role in making the fashion show happen.
The auxiliary also hosts other events and fundraisers throughout the year. The most notable being the Peach Festival in late summer. This year, the Peach Festival will take place on August 20 and will be open to the public.
The fashion show coordinator, Jane Handwerk, says the committees of the auxiliary have the freedom to bring new ideas to the event each year.
“They take their assignments, and they run with them,” she says.
The committees utilize the interests and abilities of all the auxiliary members to ensure maximum efficiency. Since not all the auxiliary members are residents at the community, another member who knows the community residents better is in charge of finding potential models for the show.
The event is so popular at Bethany Village that it has staff vying for roles in the show. From management to caregivers and dining services, everyone wants to help out with the fashion show.
“Staff is as involved as the residents,” Handwerk says.
One basket for the raffle featured a meal prepared by one of the chefs at the facility. When the director of dining services asked one of the chefs to come up with a meal, all of the chefs protested that they wanted to do it.
To resolve the conflict, the dining services director had the chefs submit possible menus and then picked the best menu to be the meal raffled off.
No one really knows when the event started, but Director of Sales and Marketing Stephanie Lightfoot can confirm that the fashion show has been a Bethany Village staple for more than 10 years.
Next year, the auxiliary would like to open the event to the public with the opening of a large community room that is still a work-in-progress.