by Sharon Dargay
O&E STAFF WRITER
Reva Wujcik isn't sure how the rumor — that Redford Suburban League had dumped its annual fashion show — took flight earlier this year.
But the Redford resident assures patrons the 37th annual show, luncheon and boutique is very much alive and heading into its final planning stretch this week. The event is Wednesday, Oct. 20, at Burton Manor, 27777 Schoolcraft, Livonia.
“We've had a couple of people tell us that,” said Wujcik, League president, commenting on the rumor. “Every year we have a discussion about continuing with whatever fund-raising we do. If it came to the point where it was impossible to do that, we'd have another big fund-raiser of some kind. But right now, this show is our venue. People look forward to it and it has been successful.”
Since 1983 the show has raised $571,475 for Burger School for Students with Autism in Garden City. Suzanna Kain, show chair, said the League donated $12,000 to Burger last year even though it experienced its “smallest crowd ever” at the fashion show.
The 116-member organization, now in its 55th year, has helped a variety of charities in the past but a few years ago decided to focus efforts on just one recipient.
“In the last few years autism has become a disability that people are very aware of. A lot of research is going on with autism. A lot of families are affected by autism,” Wujcik said. “Everyone in our organization has a family member who has dealt with autism in some way.
“We've seen results of what the money does. It has done a lot with the speech department at Burger. They bought equipment they could not have otherwise bought.”
Several staff members and some students from the school will model in the fashion show this year as they did last year. They'll wear fall and winter fashions from Dress Barn in Farmington, Men's Wearhouse in Novi and Parisian at Laurel Park in Livonia.
CASUAL TO DRESSY
Kain, of Madison Heights, oversees the mix of fashion and works with the stores. She aims for variety on the runway.
“We want the casual and the let's go out for dinner and the theater and for the holidays,” Kain said. “With models from Burger School we're talking a younger age there and we'll show clothing for the mature woman also.”
“There might be people in the audience who say ‘that would look good on my daughter or granddaughter.' I want to keep that aspect of the show, with an eye toward holiday shopping.”
Kain attended a fashion show at Longacre House in Farmington last week to check out and compare clothing. She saw “a lot of purple” in the crowd. She hopes to see her models in a variety of colors and textures beyond “so much black” that's also seen in the fall.
“I'm looking at a beautiful grey herringbone suit with a ruffled blouse. I want to see someone steer toward that,” she added, while browsing through clothing at Dress Barn.
DOZENS OF PRIZES
In addition to the fashion show, which starts after the luncheon at noon, Fall Festival of Fashion includes a boutique of approximately 25 craft vendors that opens at 9 a.m.
A popular raffle will return this year with more than 80 prizes. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. A ruby and diamond ring, cherry wood and marble sink and vanity, four-day stay at a Harbor Springs condo and Detroit Red Wing tickets are among the prizes.
“You don't have to be present to win, “ Wujcik noted. “We sell a lot of tickets. They are easy to sell. As soon as you say the profits go to Burger School for Children with Autism...almost everyone knows someone with autism. I took 100 to my bowling league and sold every single one of them.”
Raffle tickets are available at the Fall Festival of Fashion and from League members. Tickets for the boutique, luncheon and fashion show are $45. Call Miriam Skinner at (734) 981-6003. If you're interested in joining the Redford Suburban League, call Janisse Quill at (734) 595-1403.