HARLINGEN — The fashion wasn’t just on the stage.
It was also worn by those in attendance.
Many people wore large, elegant hats accented with feathers, tulle and ribbon that complemented their colorful spring attire.
Loaves and Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley hosted its 13th annual Luncheon and Style Show fundraiser yesterday morning at the TSTC Cultural Arts Center.
According to Loaves and Fishes board member Norlene Chamberlain, this is the first year tickets were sold out weeks before the event.
“It’s become a tradition and now we’re seeing mothers bringing their daughters,” Chamberlain said with joy at the event. “So, that’s exciting because that’s how it’s going to be continuous and bring in new leaders in the community as well.”
With more than 300 people in attendance, the event raised $45,000 prior to expenses.
The net funds raised will go toward general operating expenses, according to Loaves and Fishes Executive Director Bill Reagan.
“It’s heartening to see hundreds of women support the fundraiser because they believe the work Loaves and Fishes does is worthwhile,” Reagan said.
He explained the fundraiser was organized by the women on the Loaves and Fishes board of directors.
“They’re the ones who came up with the idea and every year there’s a different theme,” he said. “They’re very creative ladies and they always come up with something interesting.”
This year’s theme reflected a secret garden party.
During the two-hour span the event was hosted, most of TSTC’s campus experienced power outages, including where the event was held. But the attendees appeared to have such a great time socializing, eating and watching the fashion show that they hardly noticed the lights being out.
Bonnie Brown, from Raymondville, has attended the fundraiser for eight years.
This year, she came to support Loaves and Fishes’ annual luncheon and style show with members from her Bible study group.
“It’s such a fun event that supports a wonderful cause,” she said with a smile. “Loaves and Fishes is run completely on donations and some grants, but mostly donations, and they feed and house thousands of people every year so this community supporting it is really important.”
Brown describes herself as a “dedicated supporter of the ministry and their outreach to the community.”
“Bill Reagan has helped so many people across the Valley, people who’ve crossed the border in need of help, the homeless, people down on their luck and those who have trouble with alcohol,” Brown said. “He represents God and the community, and I love supporting that.”
FUNDRAISER THEME — Secret Garden Party
MONEY RAISED — About $45,000
TICKETS SOLD — More than 300 — A sellout
VOLUNTEERS — 30
LOAVES AND FISHES OF THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY STATISTICS FOR 2018
MEALS SERVED — 139,927,581
TOTAL SERVICES PROVIDED IN JOB SHOP — 10,414
BED NIGHT IN THE SHELTER — 6,134
ASSISTANCE PROVIDED THROUGH FAMILY EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE — 1,284
VOLUNTEER HOURS DONATED — 22,386
COMMUITY HEALTH NURSE AND HEALTHY LIVING EVENTS — 6,275
WHAT IS LOAVES AND FISHES? Loaves and Fishes is a nonprofit organization that offers “help and hope to the hungry, homeless and hurting.”