Summit County FIRC gets festive for annual fashion show
As Glinda the Good Witch, Breckenridge Councilwoman Elisabeth Lawrence floated across the runway in seven-inch heels and a frilled blue ball gown. In another set, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area patroller Craig Simpson repelled down from the ceiling as Indiana Jones.
“It’s not your typical fashion show,” Family and Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC) development director Anita Overmyer said. “To know the community members are getting out of their comfort zone for the FIRC, it’s amazing.”
The FIRC’s annual fashion show has drawn a full house of 300 for the last few years. So, for this year’s show, they expanded it to add 100 more seats. During the show’s five-year history, it has raised more than $200,000 to support local families through the center’s parenting, nutrition and emergency assistance programs.
“Doing the event has exposed hundreds of people to the FIRC who had no idea what we do,” Overmyer said.
This year’s event will be themed after celebrations throughout the year and around the world. In addition to the fashion show, emceed by Josh Blanchard of the Lake Dillon Theatre Company and Summit Foundation board member Kelly Renoux, it will also feature local Mexican Folkloric Dancers and EveryBelly Dancers.
The Saturday, June 25 show will also feature more models — and more sets — than ever before. About 70 models will walk the runway featuring two holiday-themed outfits each.
“The backroom is in such chaos,” Overmyer laughed. “But, when you see them done up with their hair, makeup and costume, it’s a full transformation.”
This year, Lawrence and her 10-year old daughter will make another appearance on the catwalk, Lawrence as a glittering poinsettia.
“There’s this amazing sequined top with big poinsettia leaves,” she said. “The fact that all these items come through our local thrift stores, you have to think — who had it? What’s the story behind it?”
Local Andrea Dixon, owner of Big City Blues in Breckenridge, picks out items from the FIRC’s Thrift and Treasure for the annual show. Stylists from Southern Exposure salon will put together more than 70 hairstyles.
“The first year was amazing. It was one of the most creative events I had ever been to,” Lawrence said. “Every year, it just gets better and better.”
FROM THE TOP
The FIRC Fashion Show was originally the brainchild of Mary Zink Caamano, owner of two local clothing stores and a FIRC board member. She passed away suddenly in 2012, shortly after she proposed the idea for a new fundraising event.
“We were struggling with fundraising ideas,” Overmyer said. “Everybody on the committee thought we owed it to her to see this through.”
Since its inception, both of Zink Caamano’s sons have been in the show at one point or another.
Rae Anderson, a longtime volunteer with the fashion show, said they brought up one of Zink Caamano’s favorite a cappella groups, “Face,” for the first two years.
“She wanted to showcase them in Breckenridge and thought the fashion show would be a good way to bring them into Summit County. As it turned out, it was a good idea,” Anderson said. “She was in the fashion industry so she understood that.”
She also credited Overmyer for the event’s success.
“She is amazing, so organized and so dedicated,” Anderson said.
Throughout her five years with the show, she has helped with a little bit of everything, including alterations, fittings and food.
“Andrea just has a really good eye,” she said. “We have a lot of wonderful models who are game to try anything.”
The fashion show will be held next Saturday, June 25 at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge from 6-9:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person or $750 for a table of 10, including dinner by Food Hedz and the fashion show.
At the end of the event, the FIRC will sell the runway outfits, in addition to setting up a mini thrift store. Tickets may be purchased at SummitFIRC.org.
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