Members Model with a Mission
Members of the Takoma Park Seventh-Day Adventist Church (TPC) took to the runway Sunday, March 20 to raise both money and awareness. Ahead of the church’s mission trip to Tanzania this summer, the planning committee organized a Dinner and Fashion Show Fundraiser in the Church Center’s Keystone Room. Vickie Keita and Lady Marie Hammonds, members of the committee, shared how they chose to do a fashion show.
“It’s a fundraiser, but we want people to have fun,” they said.
Male and female models donned the designs of Ma Winny Casey, a Tanzanian native, who has designed clothes for her country’s contestants in the Miss USA Pageant. The outfits Casey chose for the evening ranged from cookout casual wear to flowing evening gowns, many of her designs featuring uplifting words in her native language.
Host Aaron Belcher guided the audience through the night’s festivities, prodding Ma Winny Casey to explain the inspirations behind her designs. Her influences ranged from phrases and figures in American politics to the ideals of strength seen within the Maasai tribe.
The vibrant designs were complemented by the evening’s sounds. Long-time church members, Charles Merchant and Gary Jenkins, provided musical accompaniment throughout the fashion show, on the piano and drums. Husband and wife duo, Winston and Bernadette Charles, performed special musical numbers to open and close the event. The show also included a raffle for a hat covered in dollar bills and a silent auction for a small armoire.
The mood was festive, but the event’s serious purpose was not neglected. Lady Marie Hammonds, the Mistress of Ceremony, spoke about the purpose of the collected funds to help acquire supplies for the school along with the future clinic and water system that the church’s group will help plan this summer on their trip.
This June, a group of about 15 individuals from TPC will travel to Tanzania for 16 days to provide assistance at the Itubilo Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The attendees will help the local church members conduct health screenings and provide spiritual meetings for the community. The attendees will also help plan for a future medical clinic. Their efforts will build on work that church members began during the 2012 mission trip to the area.
Although many of the members who participated in the fashion show won’t be able to attend the mission trip themselves, they were happy to offer their services to help both the event and the mission trip be successful.
Lady Marie Hammonds explained, “It piqued my interest because that’s how I can contribute to our ministry.”
For more information about how to support the Tanzania Mission Trip call 202-829-4800.
Photo Credit: James Partlow IV
Editor: Maya Paul, Communications Director