Later this month area residents will get the opportunity to watch local models strut the catwalk in the latest styles from Cato Fashions, while also helping to prevent and end homelessness within the community.
The third annual Uniquely Yours Stability Support Community Charity Fashion Show will be held from 1-2 p.m. on September 23rd inside the Kimmel Theater at 8th and Irving on the campus of Midland University.
Models will show off clothing and accessories from Cato Fashions, located at 3351 24th Street, with all proceeds going to Uniquely Yours.
“It’s just a fun event for families to come out and enjoy, and for us it is a fundraiser and 100 percent of the proceeds go to our mission to prevent and end homelessness,” Robin Ritter, executive director of Uniquely Yours, said. “We are privately funded so every dollar that is raised is so beneficial for us.”
The first 50 guests to arrive at the charity fashion show will receive a free Cato bag filled with different items provided by other businesses throughout the community.
“We have really nice jewelry, manicure sets from First State Bank, pizza cutters, Cato scarves all kinds of things,” Ritter said.
There is a free will donation accepted for entrance at the door, and there will also be a raffle to win a Cato accessory.
“They can buy raffle tickets for a beautiful Cato purse, and during intermission we have some Midland students that will be working the audience so they don’t even have to get out of their seats and at the end we will do the drawing,” Ritter said.
Models will include a variety of local residents, including some of Uniquely Yours previous clients.
“We have some of our clients that have successfully went through the program and clients from other local agencies as well,” Ritter said. “We have one professional model, and professionals in the community, as well as our very own program director Heather Evans doing the modeling all of the great Cato clothing.”
Kelli Winstead who manages Cato Fashion will be the emcee for the afternoon show.
“I am the one who has to introduce the ladies and get up and tell about the clothing that they are wearing,” she said. “It is something new to me so I will probably be spitting and stuttering but I’m excited and more than happy to do it.”
Uniquely Yours and Cato have partnered on past fashion shows and other events after starting their collaborative relationship in 2014 after Cato decided to sponsor Uniquely Yours interview clothing shop.
“The shop is for both men and women and there is no income based guidelines,” Ritter said. “They can receive a free Cato outfit with shoes and accessories to wear to job interviews. When they go to their interview and bring back proof that they got the job, then they can get four more outfits to finish the work week and that is what started this wonderful partnership with Cato.”
For Uniquely Yours, which is privately funded, community partners like Cato make all the difference in the world when it comes to succeeding at their mission of preventing and ending homelessness.
“A lot of people in the community don’t realize that we are privately funded, we don’t get any state or federal money, and we do big things with our budget each year,” Ritter said. “It is because of those service link partners those area businesses that have partnered with us that we are able to do that. We have mechanics, tow companies, doctors, and vision centers that when we make a referral for a family that needs these obstacles addressed they do it for free or at an incredible discount.”
For Winstead and Cato the feeling is mutual.
“They are just a great charity and we are just happy to help them out any way we can,” Winstead said.