Fashion show brings fun, entertainment to Day Center

MARTINSVILLE — Forget Paris and Milan. Martinsville was the center of the fashion world this past week. 

Fashion took center stage recently at Edward's Adult Day Center. Clients at the center served as models for a fashion show, as well as singers for a choir concert.

Clients who visit the center each day strutted down the runway in stylish attire while receiving cheers from the audience. After the show, the models and their family and friends enjoyed a catered meal.

Executive Director Patsy Dillard said that the clients practiced for weeks. When they walked out in their sharp outfits, their hard work paid off.

"The participants were the stars. Hearing everybody yelling their name, they felt like a million bucks," Dillard said.

Putting the show together was a job, said Dillard, but she had the perfect team in place to handle it.

"It took different people doing different jobs," Dillard said.

Medicaid Coordinator Jessica Riggs decorated the event. She went with a runway theme to match the occasion.

"Each table was set up a little bit differently," Riggs said.

Some tables had manly themes, like ties, tie pins and dress shoes, while Riggs dressed other mannequin heads with sunglasses and scarves. One community member donated color-coordinated cake pops to match each table's theme.

"She transformed that room," Dillard said about Riggs.

Several community businesses donated goods to the non-profit organization's fundraiser. Some items served as silent auction pieces and the center gave others away as door prizes. Dillard said the community's generosity overwhelmed the center.

"There are too many to name. It would take all day. But we're so thankful. We're really appreciative," Dillard said.

Activities Assistant Alyssa Prillaman helped Dillard and Riggs coordinate the event. Prillaman is a rising sophomore at Belmont University in Nashville, where she studies music education. She directed a choir of clients at the center over the summer, and the group performed at the fashion show.

The group sang crowd pleasers like "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "You Are My Sunshine."

"It was exciting to see them work towards a goal and unite in their common experience, the language of music," Prillaman said. "It can connect anybody and everybody."

"Music can move people who haven't moved in years," Dillard said, adding that the center will miss Prillaman when she heads back to school.

"We're going to miss her. She's put a beautiful melody in this place," Dillard said.

Riggs spoke about the different community events the center attends with clients.

"We go to movies, to the strawberry farm, to lunch. Wherever we can go, we take them," Riggs said.

Dillard said that the center's approach is to treat those with physical and mental challenges as they would treat anyone else.

"Our goal here is to create a judgment-free atmosphere where everyone's treated the same," Dillard said.

Along with community outings, events at the center – like the fashion show – are just as important.

"You know how you grow up and have a picture in your mind of what you want to be? I think they were what they wanted to be," Dillard said. "That's the best thing they felt. They felt beautiful."

"I don't know how we'll top it next year. It was perfect," Dillard said.

For more information about the center, call (276) 666-9400.

Amie Pickeral reports for the Martinsville Bulletin. She can be reached at amie.pickeral@martinsvillebulletin.com


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