Photo shoot turns into great fundraiser

11/21/2011 12:00 AM

11/20/2011 1:22 PM

Sometimes things just click, and boy, doesn’t that make life easier? I can’t say there weren’t a couple of bumps in the road when we had a big holiday fashion shoot Nov. 13, but I can say we finished ahead of schedule. And, more importantly, we had some fun. The location was Wichita Country Club, where the staff did everything possible to accommodate the team of hairstylists and makeup artists, models of all ages, fashion assistants and the crazy woman.

That would be me.

I figured if we had those pretty people all coiffed, made up to perfection and dressed to the nines, why not do a fashion show, too? And why not make the show benefit a worthy cause? The event that evening was the Holiday Highlights Fashion Show, a benefit for Starkey.

A highlight of the show was Heather, one of the people served by Starkey programs. Heather walked the runway wearing a sparkling dress, red high heels and the biggest smile you’ve ever seen. Models from Models and Images and the Gregory Agency, as well as some independents, generously gave of their time (a Sunday evening!) and talent to help out Starkey. Ronnie Choy, the Dance Man, generously donated perfect holiday music for the models to strut to.

A large team of stylists from Eric Fisher Salons and Eric Fisher Academy curled and twirled, braided and bunched hair into some amazing hairstyles that complemented the holiday fashions from 20 local retailers.

Watch for the terrific photos that were shot by Eagle photographer Travis Heying on Mondays through the holiday season, starting today.

The best part of the day for me was after all the stuff was loaded in the van ready to go back to the stores. My friend and assistant on shoots for the past 20-plus years, Roxanne Kellogg, and I have a tradition of shooting a photo of ourselves. It’s always a terrible photo, which brings uncontrollable laughter. This time, we were joined by my new friend and very capable helper, Bianca Tyler, who sat down between us for the pic. After a 14-hour day, I held the camera at arms-length and shot pictures of us. We laughed until we cried.

“Oh that is so bad! We look awful. This is great!” Bianca said. Yes, it was a great day full of fun, beautiful, helpful, generous and appreciative people. Not only do we have some photos you’ll enjoy seeing, the fashion show and silent auction raised $8,000 for Starkey. Once again, Wichitans proved how generous this community is.

Let’s all make a few promises

Raise your right hand and repeat after me.

I, (say your name here) will NOT get crazy this holiday season.

I will start NOW getting organized and prepared so I won’t be hysterically running around Walgreen’s at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

I will be kind to drivers who seem to never stray from the middle lane even though they’re not going to turn left and insist on going under the speed limit. Perhaps they’re looking at the holiday decorations.

I will NOT get carried away buying gifts and blow my budget for the next six months.

I will NOT send a thank you for a nice gift by e-mail, but I will send a thank you.

I will enjoy the season and do what I can for those around me to enjoy the season.

I will NOT let anyone who is a Scrooge ruin even a single minute of my holiday fun.

Okay, put your hand down. Cut this out and put it on your refrigerator door. And remember, you promised!

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