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Show Demonstrates Value of Thrift Shop

Members of Aldersgate women’s group model clothing from Back Porch.

Designer names were on the tip of Donna Simonds’ tongue as she described the outfits worn by members of the Aldersgate United Methodist Women (UMW) at their annual fashion show last week. No matter that the clothes have been worn before; their “gently used” status makes them a great bargain — something that the hundreds of guests at the show discovered.

After about 20 models showed off a selection of women's and children’s clothing, guests could purchase either the outfits worn by the models or other clothing and knick-knack items brought over by staff members of United Community Ministries’ Back Porch Thrift Store.

Now in its 20th year, the UMW Fashion Show was created with the goal to show how attractive the clothing — and other items at Back Porch — are. Sherry Clarke, who recently assumed the management position at the store, said that, ever since they renovated their space on Richmond Highway, people are bringing in better and better items. They have more room to show off things and even have a special boutique section.

SIMONDS WAS not only the narrator, but the fashion show chair as well. The theme for this year was "Raggedy Ann and Andy."

Sharon Stanton and Roy Lee McCullough starred as the famous characters, providing entertainment during the model’s changes. Stanton and McCullough danced and lip-synched songs. There were several mother/daughter/son teams and the children attended a tea party scene at the beginning of the show.

Overall, the fashion show raised hundreds of dollars and collected hundreds of Beanie Babies, which will be distributed to children of military families.

Cheri Zeman, executive director, UCM, spoke and thanked the members of UMW for hosting the show. “I just want to thank the ladies of Aldersgate United Methodist Church for the high level of energy and creativity they put into this show each year. UCM appreciates the proceeds generated by this fun event and I personally would like to thank everyone who had a part in its success. As we learned today, Raggedy Ann has lots of positive qualities to share. This congregation is much like her in that way. Thank you for the heart UMW shows this community. Thank you for the loyalty, the love, the passion, and the acceptance this congregation embodies. At UCM, we try our hardest to show those same qualities to those who need us in the community and we appreciate your support in accomplishing what we do,” she said.