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Nov. 14, 2019 | Thursday
Local News
Gallery: Rotary fashion show raises $6,500 to fight polio

The Fall Fashion Show, organized by the Rotary Club of Niagara-on-the-Lake, raised $6,500 Sunday to help eradicate polio worldwide.

The show was held at the Gate House with all the proceeds going to support the Rotary International campaign “End Polio Now.”

Thanks to the Rotary International and its partners, the cases of polio around the world have been reduced by 99.9 per cent, said Pamela Wilson, a polio survivor and NOTL Rotary member.

There were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries in 1988.

In 2018, the number fell to just 33 polio cases. Only two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, continue to report cases of the wild poliovirus.

“Enjoy your afternoon with the knowledge that your donations today will help save and protect children, and remember your donation is tripled,” Wilson told the crowd of 114 guests.

All money raised will be matched by the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, so a total of $19,500 will be donated to charity.

The fashion show featured a number of raffled prizes donated by local businesses and a three-course meal by chef Stephen Treadwell.

Guests were also entertained by a young virtuoso, 14-year-old violinist David Duan.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero was master of ceremonies.

For Bella Grace Boutique owner, Joy Kassai-Molon, it was her 11th year arranging the event.

“A lot of us are volunteering but we are all here for a good cause,” Kassai-Molon said, noting she purposely dressed models from sizes two to 16-18 to show that beautiful women “come in every shape and size.”

“I want people to know that no matter what size, what age, you can come in and get a beautiful outfit.”

There were five models showcasing six different sets of outfits and each set had a specific theme, Kassai-Molon said.

BeauChapeau Hat Shop provided hats for the show, and all clothes and shoes were made by Canadian or international designers. 

Models walked around the tables, allowing guests to have a closer look at the outfits or touch the material.

The first set of outfits revolved around the colour red. The second set was yellow and the third was about a leopard theme. The fourth set had a classic black and white theme. For the fifth set, models showcased outerwear and the show concluded with evening wear.

The audience also got a special sneak preview of two outfits from Canadian designer Joseph Ribkoff’s 2020 spring collection.

“It was a lovely event, worth a lot more than we paid for,” said show attendee Deborah Hugh, adding the clothes were “beautiful.”

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