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ABCHomes Fashion Show

Countless needy and neglected Arkansas children and teens were given an opportunity last weekend to one day have a new, safe and loving home, thanks, in part, to hundreds of generous Arkansans.  

The first ever Modeling for a Miracle Fashion show lit up Immanuel Baptist Church of Little Rock March 7 and Park Hill Park Hill Baptist Church of North Little Rock March 8, raising nearly $49,000 that will help in the construction of a new Family Home for boys at the Baptist Home for Children’s in Monticello. The Baptist Home is a ministry of the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries (ABCHomes).

During the charity galas, smiles, cheers and waves were abundant as 23 models strutted down the catwalk.  The show featured 15 preteen and teenage models from the Monticello Home wearing spring fashions donated by Belk of Little Rock. The Mike Akin Family of Monticello donated shoes for each Baptist Home model. Another six volunteer models with ties to ABCHomes and a former resident and her daughter also took part in the modeling event.

“This was one of the most fun events I’ve ever been involved in,” shared Laura,* a Baptist Home resident. “Thanks to everyone who made it possible.”

The Fashion Show was put on by the ABCHomes Women’s’ Volunteer Board and was proudly sponsored by many generous donors, including the Steve Landers Family of Little Rock and First Baptist Church of Bentonville. More than 100 volunteers helped in hair and make up, decorating, serving the meals and clean-up.

“Both evenings were extraordinary,” said  Sarah Cook, WVB chairman. “We are very thankful for the many, many people who made these events a success.”

Serving as  masters of ceremonies were Scott Inman, local Little Rock television personality, and Kristen Glover, Miss Arkansas 2011.  The duo charmed the crowd with their wit and lightheartedness with the ABCHomes models, all of whom wooed the crowds.

Addressing attendees, Inman shared that, “These kids could not choose the families in which they were born any more than our children could choose their families. But, they deserve the same excellence as our own children. The current Senior Boys and Intermediate Boys Family Homes are over 50 years old and have housed hundreds of children. They are in dire condition and need to be replaced. They have been remodeled numerous times and the time is now to have a “Miracle in Monticello” and build a new, state of the art family home.”

A highlight of  the event was a testimony by ABCHomes alumna Stephanie Dunfee, a business owner in Bentonville. She shared how ABCHomes helped her fulfill her dream of receiving a bachelors degree in Apparel Studies from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and take part in a summer internship at Leun Thai, a production/design company in New York City.

During her address, Dunfee said, “The Baptist Home changed my life ... It is because of generous people like yourselves that I was able to leave a difficult home situation, ....  live at the Baptist Home and then go on to become who I am today.”

The event also featured music by Jane and Sarah Beth Overcash and a live auction.  

Many of the ABCHomes models said it will be a long time before they  stop thinking about the first ever ABCHomes Fashion Show. Almost certainly Holly* won’t soon forget. The 14-year-old Baptist Home resident, who showed off a diamond pendant auction item, was presented the jewelry piece by the purchasing donor.

“I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it,” said the tearfully teen. “I’ll treasure it forever.”

Cook said both events helped bring awareness of ABCHomes to many people in Central Arkansas. She was quick, however, to note that, “ The best part is that the 15 kids who helped us by modeling now understand that they are the most -important miracle – that they are very important to all of us!”

 

*names changed for privacy