More than 100 people attended the first annual “It Takes a Village” fashion show and tea that was held July 18, at the West Wyandotte Library, 1737 N. 82nd St., Kansas City, Kan. Twenty-three models including grandparents and grandchildren displayed summer casual and dressy fashions from the Dillard’s store, Oak Park Mall.
The fashion show included entertainment provided by Alma Smith and Yahle’ach.
According to Rita Walker, founder and executive director of “It Takes a Village,” the fundraiser was in aid to provide respite care for the members.
“Most of these parents are on a fixed income and never get to take just a day vacation,” Walker said. “They would like to go to Branson to see the play, ‘Noah’s Ark’.”
Walker said that the organization received a grant from the Area on Aging in the past and went to see “The Passion Play.” Many of the members had never had a chance to leave Kansas City before then.
“I have been a little over a year with the group,” said Ezola Johnson. “We have beautiful fellowship, meet different speakers, and find out what support we can get if we are eligible.”
“It Takes a Village” is a non-profit organization that was established to support grandparents, foster parents and kinship parents who are raising children. The group presents a chance for caregivers to interrelate with each other and discuss similar situations. It also provides an opportunity to learn about available resources that provide necessary clothing, shelter, utility assistance, legal aide and other services.
“[This group provides them with] a variety of important information [and] services designed to help, strengthen and empower them to face the difficulties they encounter as caregivers,” Walker said.
According to Johnson, Walker has a heart of gold.
“If we need transportation, she is there. She is there for everything,” Johnson said. “This fashion show was a new and giant step. Rita is absolutely wonderful.”
“It Takes a Village” meets the first and third Thursdays of the month at 6:30 p.m., 6813 Garfield Dr., Kansas City, Kan. To learn more about the organization, contact Rita Walker at 913-231-9973.
Special thanks to:
Jim McCumber, Dillard’s, Oak Park Mall
Carolyn Washington, mistress of ceremonies
Lisa Jeffers, Maria Macias, coordinating staff at Dillard’s
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