May 3, 2011
The Saratogian

I’m back and ready to bring you some tidbits of what’s going on around town.

After this season’s record-breaking winter, The Prevention Council’s Fashion Fling April 3 at Saratoga National Golf Club was a welcome harbinger of spring.

The beautiful, sunny day brought out a great crowd of more than 125, which raised nearly $9,000 to support the agency’s wide range of prevention education services.

As guests climbed the stairs to the second floor, they were greeted by dozens of vendors whose tables were festooned with beautiful eye candy for sale, including women’s clothing and accessories, hair and makeup products, children’s books, hats, and cupcakes, to name just a few. Guests could also have Tarot card readings for a fee, of which a portion was donated back to the council. Spiritual advisors Sandy Menzer and Marci Ross were booked solid, answering guests’ burning questions.

New Prevention Council board member and long-time special events coordinator Robin Litfin thanked everyone who made the event possible, including Frivolous owner Beth Jameson for all her hard work coordinating the fashion show. Litfin also introduced council Executive Director Heather Kisselback, who will celebrate her first year in that position this spring. Kisselback explained how state and federal budget cuts have made fundraising increasingly critical for local nonprofit agencies.

Mistress of ceremonies, WNYT Channel 13’s Jessica Layton, took the podium lending warmth and charm that set the perfect tone for the day.

Layton highlighted several Prevention Council success stories, giving guests a tangible feel for the ways their financial support helps local children and families, such as homeless students, those at-risk of dropping out of school, and kids who need support transitioning to middle school.

Timed to coincide with the fashion show, Saratoga National’s catering staff began serving an outstanding lunch of grilled tenderloin medallions, and vegetable Napoleon of marinated portobellos, eggplant, red and yellow roasted peppers, and goat cheese, on a vegetarian risotto cake base. Whoopie pies and fresh fruit were the hits that topped off the meal.

The fashion show included gorgeous spring apparel from eight different women’s shops: Frivolous, Miss Scarlett Boutique, Pink Paddock, Red Wolf, Rockabella, Spoken Boutique, Violet’s & Stella’s, and Yellow Boutique. The new shop, Yellow, made a huge splash with its swimsuit model Lily Robinson, whose physique and lovely face set the crowd abuzz.

Other outfits on the runway included dresses and gowns worthy of prom and track season alike, along with a variety of everyday apparel in a wonderful mix of styles. Layton did a great job introducing all the models and reading descriptions of their outfits.

The swimsuit model was a hard act to follow, but five male models wearing golf attire from Saratoga National’s Golf Shop also were a hit on the runway. The gentlemen really worked the crowd, making their classic shorts, polo shirts, sweaters and jackets shine with personality.

First out of the gate was Eric Brown, who will be married later this month (May) to the Prevention Council’s Reconnecting Youth instructor and Fashion Fling co-chairwoman, Jen Jones. With umbrella jauntily in-hand, he set the tone for the rest of the guys to strut their stuff — and strut they did. Dave Litfin (of Daily Racing Form handicapping fame) was among the models, as were Daily Racing Form Managing Editor Irwin Cohen, former D.A.R.E. Officer Tony Straus, Stephen Heidorn and Robert Spratt. Heidorn even taped a sign to his back that invited onlookers to call his cell phone for a fashion show by private appointment. The crowd went wild.

The afternoon concluded with great door prize raffles, donated by many of the shops involved in the Fling. One of the lucky winners was Sue Poulin, whose three daughters were in the fashion show. Her family’s involvement in the Fashion Fling will be featured in the May edition of The Saratogian’s Spirit of Saratoga magazine.

Spotted in the crowd were Saratoga National Golf Club President Tom Newkirk; Jerilyn and Caty Hogan modeling clothes from Frivolous Boutique; the happily retired Judy Ekman, who sat with staff and trustees from The Prevention Council; and a table of supporters that included Carol Chauvin, Jan Chesterton, Elizabeth Ketterer, Marcia McDonald, Leah and Delores Parillo, Lisa Plue, Vinessa Schliecker and Tina Nigro, who also modeled fashions from Spoken Boutique.