Family & Intercultural Resource Center fashion show returns to Breckenridge in person
Celebrate the annual fundraiser with its ‘A Night in the Museum’ theme
Get ready to head to the runway for Family & Intercultural Resource Center’s annual fashion show.
The fundraiser returns to Breckenridge in person this month for the first time since 2019 after two summers of virtual shows. The theme this year is “A Night in the Museum,” and the goal is to raise $200,000 toward the nonprofit’s general operations.
“It’s awesome to be back in person,” Family & Intercultural Resource Center Development Director Nissa Erickson said. “It’s going to be really fantastic to have our community and people to support (the resource center) together again in one place.”
What: Family & Intercultural Resource Center fashion show
When: 7 p.m. Friday, June 10. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Where: Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge
Cost: $75. Visit FIRCFashion.org to purchase.
The event takes roughly six months of planning to execute. Erickson said they have been cautiously optimistic because of not knowing entirely what to expect in terms of the coronavirus pandemic, yet they are excited to show off the designs. With museums about almost anything — from condiments to iconic Renaissance paintings — the possibilities to craft sets that showcase groups of costumes are wide.
The nonprofit has already started teasing the sets and will reveal one each day through Thursday, June 9, on social media. For example, the first set is all about fine art and will be based on works like “American Gothic” and a portrait of Queen Elizabeth I. Others will focus on vintage toys or fashion through the centuries
Roughly 60 volunteer models will sashay down the catwalk during the sets, with some changing into multiple outfits throughout the night. The volunteers include business owners, elected officials and other community members. Along with having their hair and makeup done, each will be wearing looks that are made out items from the nonprofit’s thrift store.
“It truly is a community effort to put this whole event together,” Erickson said.
The talent behind it is the creative team of Anita Overmeyer, Kim Nicolas, Ashley Kujawski, Andrea Dickson, Shae Loomis and Alley Lochridge. Overmeyer has been with the event since it began in 2012.
The former development director is now a third grade teacher at Upper Blue Elementary School. Overmeyer is still lending a hand because she’s seen the impact the resource center has had on Summit County. Though she doesn’t have a background in fashion, she also simply enjoys getting artistic and repurposing materials, whether it be a scrap of clothing or curtains from the Hearthstone Restaurant.
“That’s what requires you to be extra creative from a fashion design standpoint,” Overmeyer said. “Just all the different materials we’ve used over the years to make outfits has been pretty fun.”
One of her favorites have been making designs based on television shows through the decades for its nostalgia factor. She’s also enjoyed pushing boundaries with calendar-themed sets as well as decking pieces out in lights for the “Dreams” theme that involved aspirations like dream jobs.
This year, she’s heard from the models that they feel like things are more back to normal now that the fashion show is in person again, and she is excited to see people get out of their comfort zones at the Riverwalk Center.
“To have all the models in one building again is just going to be fun,” Overmeyer said. “It really showcases just how special Summit County is and what great people live here.
One of those models is Jay Beckerman. The Breckenridge Town Council member and Blue River Bistro owner has participated in the event many times in tribute to his friend Mary Zink Caamano. She was the vice president of the board of directors at the Family & Intercultural Resource Center and died in 2012 before the premiere of the fashion show that she spearheaded.
“She was able to really take that idea and have a vision for it,” Overmyer said. “After she passed, everyone was just so motivated to make it happen for her.”
Beckerman said she was a giving person who epitomized the values of the organization and impacted people from all walks of life.
“She was so dedicated to helping other people and was so unselfish,” Beckerman said.
There is no dinner at the event this year, but select restaurants like Blue River Bistro and Hearthstone are offering a donation of 15% of a person’s tab to the nonprofit if a patron shows that they have tickets the day of the fundraiser. Erickson said the fashion show proceeds goes toward helping all programs, like food, housing or health, because clients usually need aid in more than one area.
The event has raised over $1 million in its history, and the resource center served 6,000 people in 2021. Erickson said demand isn’t as high as it was earlier during the pandemic, but the need hasn’t gone back down to previous levels. On May 24, Erickson said they had a record number of people — 283 — that used the food market, when usually they see 300 shoppers a week.
“When you see numbers like that, we know that people are trying to stretch their budgets and figure out ways to possibly save money on groceries, which are more expensive now than they have been, and be able to use some of that savings to hopefully pay for their rent or some of their other bills,” Erickson said, adding that one factor for the recent demand could be the end of ski season with people between jobs.
While there won’t be a streamed version, those who can’t make it can still donate directly to the resource center online. People can also chip in some more at the show by buying reusable shopping bags, wine totes and more. After the event, the clothes seen on the runway will be at the thrift store, 1745 Airport Road, Breckenridge, to purchase.
For Beckerman, the highlight this year will be is seeing his daughters participate. Sharing both the fun and the generosity with others is important to him.
“It’s such a great way to foster that unselfishness in the next generation who are going to be running the town well after I’m done serving on council or whatever it is,” Beckerman said.
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