Dress for Success has provided more than a decent set of work clothes for thousands of women in need in the Hartford area. It has provided a sense of self-esteem, of confidence and of value. And that was being celebrated at the Hartford Stage Monday at the Dress for Success 7th annual Capital Catwalk.
From runway-ready outfits and looks from shops including Ann Taylor, Kathy Faber Design, Stackpole Moore Tryon Tuesday’s and Blades, to models including Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, St. Francis Hospital COO Kathleen Roche and ESPN anchor Steven Bunin, it was a night to celebrate the good cause and second chances.
“I was living in a homeless shelter with my five-year-old in Hartford when Community Renewal Team hooked me up with Dress for Success,” explained client honoree, Kim Kelly, now a CRT outreach monitor. “Dress for Success gave me more than clothes,” Kelly continued. “It gave me encouragement, a sense of empowerment,” she said. Dressed up and fussed over as part of the show, Kelly called Monday’s event, “the third best day of my life.”
“Dress for Success changed my life.” she said.
A crew of WFSB loaded the catwalk along with Walmart execs Sharon Burns and Lauri Canales, Aetna exec Tito Colon, Travelers counsel Greg Davis, Mrs. Connecticut Vanessa Sebastian, Macys vice president Tom Mach, board member Debbie Wright, and political maven and pr business owner Duby McDowell.
Catwalk highlights included the 70’s fad dance, the bump, by Wyman and McDowell and the unknown model and meteorologist who fooled a lot of people including a dumbstruck lieutenant governor and an equally dumbstruck Java, with his Bobbi Brown make-up enhanced disguise.
Susan Cote, who was honored as the organization’s 4,000 client, received a standing ovation when it was announced that she will start a new job on July 1 thanks to the guidance and help from Dress for Success.
“It has been wonderful,” said Cote, of Bloomfield. “I am so grateful.”
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