Summit County FIRC raises more than $100,000 at annual fashion show |

Summit County FIRC raises more than $100,000 at annual fashion show

Backstage, the models ran between hairstylists and makeup artists, making sure they were prepared for their moment in the spotlight. Feathered masks, ruffled dresses and sequins galore hung from the racks.

This year’s FIRC Fashion Show was bigger and brighter than ever, with 75 models walking holiday-themed sets. A group of Vikings sledded across the stage for an Ullr Fest set, followed by models decked out in rainbow colors for a Pride Parade. Halloween brought a slew of tiny trick-or-treaters, including a slightly sinister Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Batman emerging from the shadows.

Local performers Kelly Renoux and Josh Blanchard played off each other as the exuberant emcees during Saturday night’s runway spectacular.

It takes a village to put on the Family and Intercultural Resource Center’s annual fundraiser, and this year, several local businesses donated their time. Andrea Dixon, owner of Big City Blues in Breckenridge, and Ashley Kujawski, of Bevy Media, returned as this year’s stylists. You’d never guess, but each of the hundreds of costumes was picked from the racks of Summit Thrift and Treasure and tailored to each model with perfection.

Valerie Connelly, owner of Southern Exposure Salon, brought her team of seven stylists to work their magic. The result: textured faux-hawks, elaborate braids and perfect curls.

“We’ve got a lot going on,” Connelly said as she helped backstage, noting each model changed looks two to three times. “They’ve done awesome — some really cool stuff.”

By the numbers, event organizer and FIRC development director Anita Overmyer said it was their most successful event yet. This year’s show hosted a record-breaking audience of 330, bringing in a total of more than $110,000 in donations.

Throughout the course of the show, the audience donated a record high of $27,500, plus two additional $10,000 matches from FIRC board member Paul Finkel and local philanthropists Tom and Nancy Keltner.

“This is the first time since the show started that we surpassed the $100,000 mark,” Overmyer said.

The funds will be used to support the FIRC’s family assistance and parent education programs, which range from housing support and financial planning to childcare and nutrition classes.

The evening ended with one last celebration: several loud cheers, hugs and kisses as the models prepared for their final, New Year’s set.

“We’re grateful to the community for supporting our work and being so generous,” FIRC executive director Tamara Drangstveit said.

Ballet Folklorico dancers perform at the FIRC Fashion Show:

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