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Fashion-related fundraisers to benefit two local nonprofits

Fashion-related fundraisers to benefit two local nonprofits

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Wendy Marquez, Angel Charity for Children vice chairman, and other volunteers sort and price dresses for Bags, Baubles, and Ball Gowns.

Philanthropic fashionistas, take note.

You can get your wardrobe on point and support nonprofits that aid children and women at two fashionable fundraisers in the next few weeks.

Shopping event and party

First up: Angel Charity for Children’s Bags, Baubles, and Ball Gowns-A Resale Shopping Event and Party on Thursday, April 12, at Skyline Country Club, 5200 E. St. Andrews Drive.

The event will kick off the fundraising year for Angel Charity, which has raised more than $26 million to assist more than 1 million children during the past 35 years.

Bags, Baubles and Ballgowns will feature more than 1,500 new and gently-used cocktail dresses, gowns, “after-5” wear, shoes, accessories and handbags.

The inventory includes sizes up to 20 and offers a range of upscale and fashionable designer labels.

It provides an opportunity for women to purchase chic fashions — many of which are new with tags — for reasonable prices, according to Jennifer Coyle, event chairwoman.

“This is a resale shopping event and a party. Items are priced to sell, with most items priced in the $10 to $25 range. Not only will our guests find fashionable treasures at great prices, it is also a fun evening out with your girlfriends shopping and sipping champagne,” said Coyle.

The fundraiser also provides a chance for women to purge their closets of clothing and accessories that they may no longer wear.

“Our event is a great way to recycle and shop for used clothing that actually isn’t very old at all,” said Coyle.

Best of all, Coyle emphasized that funds raised will be directed toward eight local nonprofits this year. The major beneficiary is Tucson Village Farm, an education-based urban farm that reconnects youth of all ages to a healthy food system and teaches them how to grow and prepare fresh food. It currently serves about 13,000 Pima County children annually with focus on at-risk and low-income youth.

Angel Charity has pledged $445,000 to build the Angel Charity Culinary Education Center for Children featuring an on-site commercial kitchen with education stations at the Tucson Village Farm.

Carla Keegan, 2018 general chairwoman, said the kitchen will facilitate the farm’s seed-to-table mission, enabling children and their families to learn about healthy cooking and nutrition, while also providing revenue for the organization through the sale of goods and rental of the space.

“Only 2 percent of children under age 18 in Pima County receive their recommended daily servings of vegetables ... it makes sense that if we can teach kids how exciting it is to grow vegetables and even better, how great they taste. They will want to prepare them for snacks when they come home from school and include them in their dinners. We want to help them establish nutritious eating habits for life,” Keegan said.

Clothing ministry

Eagles Wings of Grace Clothing Ministry is another organization dedicated to improving lives.

It hopes to garner awareness and support at the Getting Ahead 4th Annual Fashion Show at 11:30 a.m. April 14 at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 7650 N. Paseo del Norte.

The fundraiser will feature the latest trends with Fashionfix by Jo Young; proceeds will benefit the ministry’s effort to provide professional and leisure clothes, shoes, accessories and toiletries for disadvantaged women who are making an effort to become assets to the community.

“These are women who are coming out of some sort of devastation — incarceration, domestic violence and abuse, alcohol or drug abuse — and they are basically starting over with nothing. They must be in some sort of system or program — many are in recovery — and they are just trying to get their lives back. It is great ministry to help women in need,” said Jacline Lown-Peters, executive director for the all-volunteer organization, which was founded 11 years ago.

Eagles Wings of Grace works with more than 60 local nonprofits and social service agencies, including CODAC, Cope Community Services and Cenpatico Integrated Care. The ministry serves between 15 and 20 clients weekly, providing free “shopping” for everyday and professional clothing and accessories suitable for job interviews. It also provides undergarments, casual clothing, shoes, toiletries and hair- and skin-care products at 3219 N. First Ave. The ministry also supplies professional and casual clothing for the Pima County Sullivan Jackson Employment Center, which provides job-training opportunities for homeless men and women.

Lown-Peters, who discovered the clothing ministry two years ago while searching for a home for her professional wardrobe post-retirement, said volunteering helps her to count her blessings.

“When I hear the stories these women tell, I am so grateful my parents provided for us. We weren’t wealthy — my dad was in the military — but I wasn’t neglected or abused and we never experienced poverty like these women. It reminds me daily to be grateful for what I have. This world is such a hard place to live in, and if we can help someone else have a bit better journey, the better it is for all of us,” she said.

Contact freelance writer Loni Nannini at

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