Locals strut the catwalk

Lauren Ware, 11, of Clovis models an outfit during the Women’s Initiative Network Holiday Fashion Show and Champagne Brunch sponsored by the United Way Saturday at K-Bob’s in Clovis. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth.

By Darrell Todd Maurina

During the week, Kathy Wright works as the manager and vice-president of New Mexico American Water. But on Saturday, she put on expensive black clothes, walked into a room of about 80 women, and modeled new outfits from Stephanie Sterling and Stitches.
Professional modeling isn’t something Wright wants to do for a career, but she said she liked doing it for the United Way fund-raiser held Saturday morning at K-Bob’s Steakhouse.
“It was a fun day, something we liked doing and being able to help out the United Way,” Wright said. “All of the models are real people who would wear these things, and I am a regular customer at Stephanie’s.”
In fact, Wright checked the price tags on the outfit she modeled and said it might be going home with her.
Event organizers tried to use people known in the community. At least one has modeled professionally and will soon be going to New York to try out her talents, but the other women ranged from tall to short, large to small, and elementary students to grandmothers.
The 80 women in the audience paid $25 each to attend.
“We just loved everything about it — the food, the fashion show, everything,” said Zala Smith. “The fashion show had a lot of variety, not just one age or size, and it supported a large range of fashions.”
“It was just fun to get together with friends and support United Way,” said Gail Martin.
United Way Executive Director Erinn Burch said she was glad to see the turnout for a new event United Way hadn’t tried in the past. Burch said United Way members Gayla Brumfield, the late Mary Carol Hartley, and others had been working to create a “Women’s Initiative Network” to promote networking among Clovis businesswomen, and had decided the fashion show would make a good project to bring women together while raising money for United Way.
Brumfield said the campaign continued after Hartley’s death and she held a tribute to Hartley during Saturday’s program.
“A little over $1,000 was raised by the event,” Burch said. “The more we can meet with women who are interested in our community and in United Way, the more likely then they are to come down and support these events.”