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Robin Ritter hopes area residents will partake in a unique opportunity.

It’s one where attendees can see some fall fashions and benefit those around them.

The public is invited to the 5th Annual Charity Fashion Show, presented by Cato Fashions, from 2-3 p.m. Sept. 22 in Kimmel Theatre. The theater is at Eighth and Irving streets on the Midland University campus in Fremont.

Admission is a $5 donation at the door. Children are admitted for free. The first 20 guests will receive a special gift, said Ritter, chief executive officer of Uniquely Yours Stability Support. Attendees can receive a free raffle ticket to win a Cato’s gift card.

All event proceeds will go toward supporting UYSS’ homeless prevention work.

“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.

The fashion show is beneficial in another way.

“This is a community event about empowering women,” Ritter said.

Models include women who have gone through programs at UYSS or other partnering agencies successfully. Some are youth from the Hope Center for Kids in Fremont. A couple of Midland students may model as well.

Most models are women who have overcome hardships.

“Our previous models have shared how special this event made them feel,” Ritter said, adding that the women have enjoyed a few moments when the focus was on them.

Ritter has cited the case of one model, who had an especially poignant response to the experience.

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“She was so overwhelmed and was crying; She’d never felt that she was special with any attention just on her,” Ritter said. “I loved how excited she was. It boosted her self-esteem and truly empowered her as a capable, determined woman.”

The woman was very appreciative.

“She hugged all of us and thanked us,” Ritter said. “She was so happy, because she was able to experience something that made her feel that she had worth.”

Ritter noted other things the models enjoy.

“They are able to go to our local Cato’s Women’s Fashions, pick out the outfits that they love – along with the shoes and accessories – that they will be modeling,” she said.

Salon partners are invited to participate to help with hairstyles.

Ritter appreciates the agency’s service link partners, who help in a variety of ways.

“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,” she said.

Again this year, the fashion show will take place on a Sunday. Families are encouraged to attend a wholesome event for a good cause.

“Midland has hosted the venue every year, along with providing students for tech support, greeters and helping to seat attendees,” Ritter said.

Ritter encourages area residents to attend.

“This event usually does not yield much in raised funds, but I greatly value what it represents,” Ritter said. “We hope that the community will come help us pack the theater and show their support for these women, their courage and our nonprofit that works hard to address the dynamics of homelessness.”

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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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