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Fashion, Fun, and Philanthropy

D.C. Chapter of Childhelp Wings holds fashion-show fundraiser.

Walking the runway in Bloomingdale’s "must-have selection" for the spring season was a mix of professional models and young volunteers from the D.C. branch of Childhelp Wings.

Walking the runway in Bloomingdale’s "must-have selection" for the spring season was a mix of professional models and young volunteers from the D.C. branch of Childhelp Wings. Photo by Mary Grace Oakes

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Dylan Murphy, 14, of Great Falls, works the runway as the audience looks on. Dylan was one of several local children who participated in the fashion show.

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Event Co-chairs Debbie Copitio and Anjanette Murphy pose for a quick picture with Sandy Crippen (middle), all from Great Falls. Crippen is a recipient of Childhelp’s "Heart of an Angel Award."

On Sunday, April 15, the Washington D.C. Chapter of Childhelp Wings held its seventh annual Fashion Show at the Tysons Corner Bloomingdale’s. Co-chaired by Great Falls residents and Childhelp Wings members Debbie Copito and Anjanette Murphy, the event attracted families from all over the D.C. metro area, and benefited the children served by Childhelp, a non-profit organization "dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect through prevention, intervention, and treatment." Childhelp, which was founded in 1959 by actresses Sarah O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, has serviced nearly 7 million children since its inception, through the operation of 24/7 National Child Abuse Hotline and the running of nationwide residential treatment "villages."

The "afternoon of fashion, fun, and philanthropy" began with a brunch reception and raffle, after which opening remarks were made by Bloomingdale’s General Manager, Julia Palmer, and actress and philanthropist Jen Liley. Liley, who stars as Maxie Jones on General Hospital, spoke of her admiration for the organization and its efforts, saying "child abuse is such a big problem, and it demands a big answer…and I fully believe, with all my heart, that Childhelp is that answer."

Attendees then enjoyed a fashion show hosted by journalist, strategic communicator, and activist, Cynthia Steele Vance, which showcased Bloomingdale’s "must-have selection" for the spring season. Working the runway was a mix of professional models and young volunteers from the D.C. branch of Childhelp Wings, "a program designed to inspire, empower, engage and equip youth to join Childhelp in the prevention and treatment of child abuse."

Following the show, Childhelp’s co-founders, Yvonne Fedderson and Sarah O’Meara, took to the catwalk in order to "celebrate" Sandra Crippen of Great Falls for her more than two decades of service to the organization. Crippen, who in 1988 became a founding member of the Washington, D.C. chapter of Childhelp, was presented with the "Heart of an Angel" Award for her commitment to the organization’s cause. "Every step of the way, through every hill and valley, Sandy and her dear husband Jack were right by our side… They never wavered from their belief in the miracles that are possible when generous hearts come together for the love of a child," Fedderson said.

Before the day’s festivities concluded with a shopping event, guests also heard from Lisa Evans, the director of National Membership and the Wings Program, and Carol Hebets, "the founding mother of Childhelp Wings."