By: Margaret Price
Greetings friends, family and followers,
It is a bittersweet moment for Belle Public Relations as our campaign officially came to a close this past weekend following the conclusion of our “Fashion for a Cause” fundraising event on Friday. We had approximately 100 people come out to support Connections for Life at the event, and with their help, we were able to raise $14,785! This number more than doubles the fundraising goal we had set for the event back in February and we could not be more grateful for the efforts and contributions of all involved.
For those of you that were unable to be with us at the event, the fashion show was the highlight of the night as models from all walks of life joined together on stage to raise money for Connections for Life. These models were not only friends and family of Belle Public Relations, but also Connections for Life residents and program graduates. It was heartwarming to see women once abused and immersed in drugs and alcohol walk across the stage as completely new women full of pride, strength and beauty. To further recognize the tremendous strength of the program residents, Air Blow Dry Bar and Poise ‘N Ivy helped the models look the part by donating hair and make up stylists as well as gorgeous outfits for the models to wear for the show.
After the show, models were able to join the rest of the guests for a special video presentation showcasing Connections for Life and its mission to empower women in the community. The video shown was an original Belle Public Relations production, created and edited by Clare Gleeson. The video captivated the audience and several hearts throughout the room as it incorporated testimonies from Connections for Life program participants, both past and present.
Hearing these stories really reinforced the reasons why Belle Public Relations has spent countless hours alongside Connections for Life over the past three months. To our group, this has been more than just a class project and an opportunity to practice all we have learned at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication. This project has allowed us to engage in community efforts and become a part of something much bigger than ourselves. Together we have been able to apply concepts from previous mass communication courses, demonstrate civic engagement and social responsibility in the community and create professional communications all while maintaining a positive client relationship. We also learned how to work in a group, how to pick each other up and how to remain focused on our goal, which has always been raising awareness for the tremendous women of Connections for Life. As we now must say goodbye to the organization and its remarkable leader Karen Stagg, we look back on the work we were able to accomplish and smile, for we know we did exactly what we set out to do; we made a difference.