Who says you can’t look like you just stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine and still help others in need?
Not Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC) of North Oakland County.
The local nonprofit organization is partnering with The Boulevard Boutique, located at 5 S. Washington St. in downtown Oxford, to conduct a fashion show fund-raiser on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at the Boulder Pointe Golf Club and Banquet Center in Oxford.
Tickets are $35 per person or $300 for a table of 10. They’re available on-line at www.loveincofnoc.org and at The Boulevard Boutique.
All proceeds will directly benefit Love INC of North Oakland County.
Launched in 2007, it’s a cooperative effort that links churches, volunteers and service agencies together, so they can reach out to disadvantaged people and meet their needs.
“It’s basically a way for you to help those in need right in your own backyard,” explained Patricia Duke, executive director of Love INC. “This a way for folks to give back locally where we can make a really big impact.”
The event will kick off at 5 p.m. with a shopping experience featuring nearly 20 vendors, a silent auction and raffles.
Dinner will follow at 6 p.m.
Then, it’s time for the main event, the fashion show, at 7 p.m.
According to Sue Oles, owner of The Boulevard Boutique, 10 female models, ranging in age from 16 to about 70, will be all decked out in eye-catching, stylish fashions “from casual to dressy.” Everything will be provided by her shop.
Oles said the featured clothing will cover the “transition period, going from winter into spring, when women are really not quite sure what to wear.”
“We’ll have all sizes, from petite all the way up to plus-sizes,” she noted.
In order to give the teenagers in the audience some ideas for their big night, Oles said four prom dresses will be included as part of the show.
All of the featured fashions will be available for purchase in addition to other clothes, jewelry and purses from Boulevard Boutique.
The models will be escorted by four gentlemen clad in tuxedoes provided by the Oakwood Wedding Chapel in Oxford.
Oles is more than happy to help Love INC.
“They came to me and said they would really like to do a fund-raiser,” she said. “I said, let’s do a fashion show. We’ve done them before and they work. Women enjoy them.”
Duke, a 22-year resident of Oxford Township, indicated the goal is to sell 200 tickets.
“We plan to have this become one of our larger (fund-raisers),” she said. “We’re trying to get our name out there. You wouldn’t imagine that we’re a county where folks are in need, but we help (close to) 500 families a year. There are so many people in need. You’re not even aware of them all.”
Love INC operates a clearinghouse (or call center) that serves as a contact point for people. They call in, their situation is evaluated, their needs are identified, then they’re connected with local churches and agencies that have the proper resources to provide them with whatever assistance they require.
Love INC assists with rent and utility bills, car repairs, minor home repairs, food (ranging from groceries to free, weekly community meals served at local churches), clothing, counseling, budget classes, household goods, personal needs and more.
To help clients, Love INC utilizes the resources of its 26 partner churches, most of which are located in Oxford and Orion, plus local and state government agencies, countless area nonprofit groups, such as food pantries, and of course, businesses.
In 2017, Love INC served 479 families and helped meet 1,401 needs. The clearinghouse handled 4,120 calls and its 13 volunteers worked a combined 1,910 hours. A total of 230 church referrals were made, plus 494 referrals to other agencies.
“Everybody in these communities is very giving,” Duke said.
“They help a lot of families right here, which I love,” Oles said. “I love that the money stays right here in Oxford.”