By Jessica Isaacs
A longstanding tradition of fun for a good cause will continue on Aug. 7 with the 38th annual charity fashion show and luncheon hosted at the Blowing Rock Country Club. Tickets are on sale now and going fast for this event, which will again benefit the development of Chestnut Ridge — a facility being built by Appalachian Regional Healthcare System to replace the Blowing Rock Hospital.
The show will bring community members together for an afternoon of fellowship and fun, and local residents will model styles from a variety of area clothiers and boutiques.
The event began more than three decades ago as an exciting way to get folks in the High Country involved in supporting the Blowing Rock Hospital, which is now known as Blowing Rock Rehabilitation and Davant Extended Care. Years later, the annual fashion show and luncheon, still led by a committee of dedicated community members, continues to serve as one of the area’s most sought-after social events of the season.
WHY CHESTNUT RIDGE?
For the third year in a row, proceeds from the event will support ARHS and its work to build Chestnut Ridge — a 112-bed post acute care center that will sit on 68 acres alongside the Blue Ridge Parkway. The new facility will offer short- and long-term rehab services, skilled nursing care, memory care support and palliative care.
Fashion Show Director Suzanne Miller said community support for Chestnut Ridge is imperative because the new facility will allow ARHS to offer a more comprehensive list of services.
“Appalachian Regional Healthcare is an umbrella for all of the medical services in Watauga County, and this is the last section of those medical needs to be addressed,” Miller said. “This rounds out a full medical service for Watauga and surrounding areas. It’s not just a service to Blowing Rock, but a service to the whole community.”
“I don’t think there’s another county with a population this size that could boast such high-quality care that covers all areas. It’s important for each person to continue to support ARHS.”
ARHS Foundation Development Officer Jessica Powell said the hardworking folks behind this event are playing a significant role in the Chestnut Ridge project.
“Community support is very important because it truly is a community project. Our mission is to help make life better for our friends and neighbors who live here,” Powell said. “Chestnut Ridge will definitely do that. Having community support is crucial for us to be able to continue to provide advanced health care close to home.
“We are so grateful for all of the time and dedication that these committees have given to Chestnut Ridge.”
Miller said she looks forward to the beautiful new facilities that Chestnut Ridge will offer and the health care it will provide for the people in the area.
“Chestnut Ridge will be an updated, state-of-the-art facility. One thing that’s important for the healing process, in any situation, is to have a pleasant, uplifting environment,” Miller said. “Chestnut Ridge will offer a proper environment with outstanding medical care to people who are sick to help them improve and to heal.”
“BEAUTY IN THE HIGH COUNTRY”
“Beauty in the High Country” is the theme of this year’s show, which will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a silent auction offering a multitude of products donated by local shops, restaurants and establishments.
Miller said the event will be fun for both ladies and gentlemen, and it will help guests get to know more of the businesses in the area.
“This year, we are representing all of the High Country with our stores — we’re showing off clothiers from Banner Elk all the way through Boone and Blowing Rock,” Miller said. “These stores will represent all of the fine fashions that are right here at our fingertips. It will be fun way to see everything that’s available to us and how fun it can be to go visit and shop.”
The luncheon and fashion show will begin at 11:45 a.m., showing off looks from these local clothiers and more:
- Finley House Couture
- Take Heart
- Blowing Rock Estate Jewelry and Antiques
- South’s Specialty Clothiers
- Mast General Store
- Watsonatta Western World
- Did Someone Say Party?
- Dande Lion
- BJ’s Resort Wear
To prepare for the event, Fashion Show Coordinator Mandy Poplin is working to coordinate participating clothiers and the following local residents who will model in the show:
- Grace Will
- Katy Thompson
- Dee Lambeth
- Joellyn Gibbons
- Tiffany Taylor
- Susie Wright
- Renee Godwin
- Jenny Miller
- Nancy Hershey
- Victoria Smith
- Shelby Ott
- Cathy Wiliamson
- Gina Harwood
“It’s very social. When you’re there, you often see many people that you know and that you’re friends with and you can spend time together,” Powell said. “The silent auction is great fun as far as shopping for a cause. If you’re going to spend the money, you know where it’s going and you know what it will benefit.
“The fashion show is really fun, and you’re really supporting your friends as the models walk through the room and the music plays.”
In recent years, the fashion show committee began a new tradition by recognizing an honorary chairwoman each year to represent the program’s mission in the community. Marty Couch, who serves on the ARH Foundation board, has been named this year’s recipient.
“She’s been supportive of the hospital for many years and she’s very active in the community, not only in medical services but in education and in the cultural environment of Blowing Rock,” Miller said. “I think she will be an excellent representative of what we’re trying to achieve — a high standard of living and high quality healthcare in Watauga County.”
Past recipients include Harriet Davant, Reba Moretz, Betty Pitts and Tacky Vosburgh.
GET YOUR TICKETS
Tickets are on sale now for $65 each. Approximately 150 of an available 200 have already been sold, so call the ARH Foundation at 828-262-4391 to get yours today.
Also, tickets are still available through the foundation for the Patrons Evening — a June 19 event being held in conjunction with the fashion show’s fundraising effort. Tickets are $200 per person for this black tie event, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Blowing Rock Country Club.
Visit Chestnut Ridge online for more information about the project.
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