FIRC goes virtual for its 9th annual fashion show
KEYSTONE — In an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Family & Intercultural Resource Center’s annual fashion show has gone virtual, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less fabulous.
The fashion show, which is typically held at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge, has transformed into a virtual concert for its ninth rendition. Instead of strutting down a runway, models have filmed MTV-style music videos to raise money and awareness for the nonprofit.
The show will air at 6 p.m. June 26 on SCTV Comcast channels 10 and 880 as well as online at FIRCFashion.org. The new format allowed for the nonprofit to cut costs on the event. In years past, the show would cost $50,000. This year, it’s only costing the nonprofit $5,000.
“In past years we’ve had 600 people in the Riverwalk Center watching,” Anita Overmyer, director of development at FIRC, said. “One thing that’s kind of cool this year is we are able to save on a lot of costs because we’re not providing dinner.”
Because the show had to go virtual, it will also be free for the first time. In the past, tickets would cost $75, but the virtual component allows for anyone and everyone to tune in. Despite the free cost, the nonprofit aims to raise $100,000 from the event. Overmyer said most of that money will come from sponsors, but people will be able to donate during the show as well.
“In the past, there’s always been a lot of people that were interested in the show, but maybe they weren’t in town or they didn’t live here or they couldn’t afford the $75 ticket price,” she said. “So this year we’re able to make it free and we’re really excited about that. People all over the world can watch if they want to.”
The theme for this year’s show is music, which worked perfectly for the transition to a virtual program.
“(The videos) are all over the place, which is really fun,” Overmyer said.
Leah Canfield, who has modeled for the show in years past, submitted two videos for the show, one dressed as Freddy Mercury from Queen lip-singing to “Don’t Stop Me Now” and the other as Lady Gaga singing “Bad Romance.”
Canfield said she specifically wanted to do “Don’t Stop Me Now” to lift spirits during a hard time.
“It’s a super pick-me-up song and a lot of people are struggling right now and need a little motivation, so I thought that would be a fun one,” she said.
Dave Pringle submitted a video along with his air band “Noah and the Arcs.” The group dressed in ’60s rock style outfits and jammed out to Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “The House is Rockin’.” Pringle said he was somewhat forced into modeling two years ago and has loved participating ever since.
“I enjoyed it so much I wanted to be a part of it again the year after,” he said.
While in past years models wore clothes from FIRC’s Summit Thrift & Treasure stores, the two stores were closed from March 13 to June 1, forcing models to get creative with their costumes. The Dillon store is now open for shopping by appointment and the Breckenridge store is taking donations.
Pringle said he wore clothes that he’s had for a long time but never got around to donating to the thrift stores.
“Mostly it’s stuff that we had around,” he said. “It’s pre-FIRC material, let’s put it that way.”
Pringle and Canfield both loved the idea of the virtual show.
“I thought it was brilliant,” Canfield said. “It’s just a creative way to deal with the circumstances that we have right now and FIRC needs the community support now more than ever.”
Overmyer said the money raised will go towards helping families recover from the economic follow out from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve already provided more services in the past three months than we do in a typical year,” she said. “We’re anticipating that level of demand to continue. All the money that’s raised is going to continue towards COVID relief. We’re trying to make sure people have access to basic needs right now.”
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