Originally created 01/01/06

Fashion show will help support charity

Two longtime supporters of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta are hoping the glamour and glitz of a fashion fundraiser will lead to a lot of donations for the charity.

Brittany Bagwell, 22, and her mother, Charlene Bagwell, co-owners of Brittany's House of Elegance, are holding Fashion Extravaganza 2006.

Last year, 200 people attended their first fashion fundraiser, and the Bagwells are hoping more people attend this year.

"We plan to make it the premiere annual event in the CSRA, showcasing all the latest fashions for young women while making a difference in someone's life at the same time," Brittany Bagwell said. "What could be better?"

The fashion production will feature the latest social, prom and pageant gowns, interview suits, cocktail dresses and designer sportswear. The area's reigning beauty queens are scheduled to make appearances, including Miss Augusta, Miss South Carolina USA, Miss Teen Georgia International and Miss Aiken.

"We'll be modeling more than 200 pieces of the most current styles available," Charlene Bagwell said.

The event will feature entertainment, door prizes and a silent auction. Each attendee will have an opportunity to register to win The Dream Prom Package valued at more than $800. The package includes a gown, jewelry, shoes, tuxedo rental and limousine service.

All proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Ronald McDonald House at 938 Greene St.

"Any funds for the house are extremely beneficial," said Shannon Powell, the director of marketing for the charity. "Mom and dad, brother and sister can stay at the Ronald McDonald House and spend the night. They aren't charged but are asked to contribute between $2 and $10 per night, depending on income levels. But no one is ever turned away for inability to pay."

Mrs. Powell said fundraising events such as Fashion Extravaganza 2006 are important because family contributions cover only about 3 percent of the home's operating costs. She said another small percentage is paid for by the Ronald McDonald Foundation.

Mrs. Powell also said that, contrary to popular belief, the charity is not directly supported by McDonald's fast-food franchises. She said individual franchise owners have a choice as to whether they will support the charity.

The Ronald McDonald House has provided assistance to more than 6,000 families since it began operation 21 years ago. The 10-bedroom house serves families with children receiving treatment at Augusta-area hospitals for serious illness or injury and who live 50 or more miles away from Augusta.

"We house families, provide laundry service, and have a dinner program where local businesses bring in dinner for free every night so they're getting home-cooked meals," Mrs. Powell said.

If you go

What: Fashion Extravaganza 2006

When: 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14

Where: Savannah Rapids Pavilion, 3300 Evans to Locks Road

Cost: $5

Phone: (706) 228-7998 or (706) 294-4040


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