By Tia Lynn Lacorchick staff writer
The Third Annual Friends of Advantage Designer’s Challenge & Top Model Competition will be held on Thursday, Feb. 6 at Athens Technical College Auditorium in the Kenneth Easom Building at 7 p.m.
This event is open to the public. Tickets cost $25 and can be reserved by calling (706) 296-8086. The event is a fundraiser showcasing formerly out-of-date clothing updated and reworked to fit today’s latest fashion trends.
The outfits modeled will be sold on the lower level of the Georgia Square Mall in Athens next month along with other donations.
“We have eight designers who have taken on the challenge to use old, ugly, outdated dresses and, within a three to four week period of time, transform them into today’s fashion that is sale ready for the adDRESS a Need SALE…The Designer’s Challenge dresses, along with a ‘Parade of Dresses,’ showcase beautiful new dresses that have been donated for the sale.
The dresses will be modeled by local Homecoming Queens and individuals representing our ten county service area,” said Tammy Dalton, communications and outreach coordinator for Friends of Advantage, a non-profit organization that hosts events and raises funds on behalf of Advantage Behavioral Health Systems, a network of mental health facilities throughout northeast Georgia that serve over 10,000 client per year.
The Morgan County volunteers modeling for the event are: Kate Booker and Sabrina Smith, a mother and daughter modeling duo; MaCayla Cook, a Morgan County High School sophomore; and Amber Peppers, a graduate from the University of Georgia currently earning her Master’s degree from the University of Illinois. Booker is the wife of Advantage CEO OJ Booker and Quality Director of the Newton Medical Center in Covington. Smith is a second grader at Morgan County Primary School who aspires to become a composer of music. Cook, a member of the National Honor Society, is part of the MCHS Marching and Jazz bands and enjoys singing and playing the guitar and piano. Peppers, who works for the Caterpillar organization as an Environmental, Health and Safety technician, recently married her high school sweetheart and enjoys life with her two beloved dogs and cat.
People can vote for their favorite model prior to the event online for a dollar per vote at: www.friendsofadvantage.org. Cash votes will also be accepted throughout the event until intermission is over. The model with the most votes will be crowned adDress a Need Top Model.
“All proceeds from this Friends of Advantage event will directly assist Advantage Behavioral Health Systems bridge gaps in funding in serving individuals with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and addictive disease,” explained Dalton.
According to Dalton, “Statistics tell us that one in four people are effected by mental illness, developmental disabilities, or addictive disease. On a personal level, I’d like for everyone within our communities to be aware that help is available for them if and when they face a need for services and that they can look to Advantage Behavioral Health Systems to be there for them to turn to.”
MaCayla Cook, 15, a model for the event, is proud to donate her time for the adDRESS event. “It is for such a good cause,” said Cook. “I can’t wait to be a part of it.” Dalton, too, is looking forward to the event and getting the word out about Advantage’s work.
“This is a fabulously fun-filled event that Friends of Advantage invests in to educate our communities about Friends of Advantage and Advantage Behavioral Health Systems services that are available and to create additional resources to serve individuals within the community in need of the services in which we provide,” said Dalton. Dalton encourages community members to get involved before the sale in March.
“If you have a dress hanging in your closet that you will never wear again and could use a tax credit for, we are currently accepting formal and semi-formal dress donations for children and adults, along with shoes, purses, and jewelry through February for our upcoming adDRESS a Need SALE in March,” said Dalton. The adDRESS a Need SALE will be held at Georgia Square Mall, lower level, on Mar. 7 through Mar. 23, Monday through Friday, from 1 pm to 9 pm.