The “Fashion for Compassion” Runway Party featured food, fashion and fundraising for the Austin Children’s Shelter. More than 200 well-dressed glitterati attended the upscale benefit at Saks Fifth Avenue. The honorary co-chairs were Westbankers and sponsors Beth and Frank Stabile and Westbankers Kathryn Scarborough Bechtol and Hub Bechtol.
A festive atmosphere was created with music by Brent Stallings and cocktails provided by Grey Goose Vodka and the Westbank business of Davenport Wine & Spirits. Fashionistas enjoyed closed-to-the-public shopping with Saks donating 10 percent of the sales.
Tasty treats were served by Bliss Bakery, Brick Oven, Cannoli Joe’s, Cornucopia Popcorn, The County Line, Eat Out In, Fire Bowl Café, Go Go Delicious, La Madeleine, P.F. Chang’s, Satay, Tiff’s Treats, Truluck’s, Vinny’s and Z’Tejas.
An exciting live auction roused the crowd. The biggest bids were a Texas deer hunt purchased by sponsor John Paterson and a Jimmy Buffett concert package bought by Westbankers Lynette and John Maxwell.
The evening’s highlight was a chic style show of notable Austinites who displayed their unique personalities. The models included Miss Texas USA 1998 Holly Mills Gardner, make-up maven Rochelle Rae, Marquee’s Damon Holditch, restaurateur Don “Skeeter” Miller, Bikram Yoga’s Mardy Chen, news anchors Todd Boatwright, Judy Maggio and Shannon Powell and philanthropists Mary Ann Heller, Teresa Long, Jane Sibley and Sara Rathgeber.
The Westbanker runway walkers were Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, BRILLIANT publisher Lance Avery Morgan and news anchors Ron Oliviera and Michelle Valles.
Caroline Bogues and Jennifer Emelogue, who stayed at the Shelter as teens, also strutted the catwalk. The sisters spoke passionately about their experiences there. Austin Children’s Shelter chief development officer Steve Anderson said proceeds generated approximately $65,000.
“Although this was our third year to produce the event, it was our first partnership with Saks,” Anderson said. “We are deeply grateful to them and our sponsors for their support.” For 25 years, the Austin Children’s Shelter has given emergency shelter and nurturing care to abused or neglected children. Now in a new expanded facility, the shelter also offers long-term services for older youth, transitional living for young adults, an on-site school, respite care and family counseling. For more information, visit www.austinchildrenshelter.org.