Local Stars Shine at Fashion Show

Event Raises Money for Hospice Care at Shell Point
FORT MYERS – Southwest Florida’s “Women of Distinction,” a group comprised of local celebrity women such as news anchors Sharon Gregory, Jessica Stilwell, Krista Fogelsong, and others, recently modeled spring clothing designs as part of a beautifully orchestrated fashion and interior design style show held at Shell Point.

Emcees for the show were Jessica Stilwell, the evening anchor for NBC2, and Sharon Gregory, evening anchor for ABC7, who eloquently described everything from shoes to hats. The crowd of nearly 500 people gazed in delight at Spring fashions modeled by some of Southwest Florida’s most prominent professional women.

FOX-4’s Krista Fogelsong
ABC-7’s Sharon Gregory

“We were very honored by the group of women who agreed to be in the show,” said Lynn Schneider, director of public relations and event coordinator. “We selected women who we felt represented role models in our Southwest Florida area. In addition to being beautiful, these women are very successful in their professions or volunteer service. Many of these women serve as leaders of local charitable service organizations, such as Robin Wingate, the executive director of the local chapter of the American Red Cross, and Dotty St. Amand of the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center. Reiko Niiya, the concertmaster for the Southwest Florida Symphony, and Susan Johnson of the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, come from backgrounds in the arts, and they volunteer their time to a variety of charitable causes. Robbie Roepstorff of Bank of the Islands and Karen Ryan of Lee County Electric Cooperative serve on several regional boards, and are frequent volunteers at local charitable events, as are marketing professionals Teri Hansen and Susan Bennett.”

Additional models for the show included Karen Anderson, Nancy Bergaa, Jennifer Carter, Carla Channell, Danielle Channell, Donna Dittmer, Monica Dunkley, Alexa Elliott, Stacey Furbay, Anna Hansen, Jami Jent, Kathy Kellenberger, Vicki Luft, Janice Molloy, Lisa Sbuttoni, and Roberta Voelker.

Carla Channell

“This event provided us with an opportunity to do something fun for our volunteers and supporters, while at the same time underscoring the importance of the services provided in our skilled nursing center to individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, or receiving the wonderful care provided by Hope Hospice at Shell Point,” said Schneider. “We are so grateful to everyone who attended the show, as well as the dozens of merchants and restaurants that donated items for our silent auction. I am especially grateful to the clothing stores at Bell Tower Shops who provided the beautiful fashions and to the wonderful women who donated their time to model them.”

A wrap-up video reminded the fashion conscious of the real purpose for this event. Shell Point’s Divine Design fashion show raised approximately $20,000 to benefit the patients served by The Pavilion Auxiliary, Hope Hospice at Shell Point, and Alzheimer’s Memory Care at Shell Point.

The clothing and accessories featured in the show were provided by some of the Bell Tower Shops’ finest clothing and accessory stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Talbots, Acorn, Island Pursuit, Trader Rick’s, Draper’s & Damon’s, Patchington, Eyetopian, and Wallaby Trading Company. Touch Spa & Salon provided hair styling and makeup for the models. The Bell Tower Shops are located in South Fort Myers. This unique mall features elegant Mediterranean architecture, sparkling fountains and a charming outdoor shopping ambiance similar to that of European cities. Visitors to the Bell Tower will find a wide assortment of stores featuring unique gift items, home accessories and the latest styles in men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, as well as an array of fine dining venues.

Interior Design Vignettes
In addition to spring clothing fashions, the show also featured interior design vignettes displaying the latest in furnishings and home accessories by two of the area’s finest interior designers – Gayle Emond of Emond Interior Consultants in Cape Coral, and Suzie Norfleet of Norfleet Interiors on Sanibel. The vignette designed by Gayle Emond featured an Oriental theme. A traditional Chinese Foo dog statue stood guard at the entrance to the vignette and offered an exotic touch to the overall ambiance. An Oriental rug of red and rust with gold accents anchored the space visually, while a hand-painted three paneled screen created a beautiful backdrop for the deep crimson hand-painted bench. A table lamp with red beaded shade cast a warm glow over the wicker Bombay chest with marble top, which held a variety of exotic home accessories.

“It was a lot of fun to participate in this event,” said Emond. “Our clients enjoy seeing the latest in home accessories, so this show gave us the opportunity to be creative and do something a little different.”

The vignette designed by Suzie Norfleet of Norfleet Interiors featured an African safari theme with a natural wood desk accented by an upholstered chair. A hand-carved wooden camel planter held a variety of silk plants. The various home accessories featured an exotic touch with monkeys, palm trees, and natural elements of stone and wood. A small wooden bench and palm tree mirror were situated next to an overstuffed armchair which featured a subdued stripe of earthy colors of moss green and ochre. Silk plants and wrought iron accessories completed the elegant space.

In addition to touring the designer vignettes and viewing the style show, guests enjoyed delicious desserts and appetizers, as they bid on the more than 100 silent auction items, including gift baskets, gift certificates, accessories and various other items donated by local businesses and restaurants.

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