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On April 6, Assistance League of Greater Collin County (ALGCC) held its Annual Spring Fashion Show Luncheon at Heritage Ranch in McKinney. The show featured the lovely spring line of Cynthia Elliot Boutique, located on the square in McKinney.

Several years ago, ALGCC presented keynote speaker Susan Oliver (above) with the Operation School Bell award for her 25 years of service to children in poverty. She said it was “one of the proudest moments of her career.”

Before the show, Charlotte Grimm, president of the Assistance League, introduced guests to Susan Oliver, a care coach from Boyd Elementary in Allen who, prior to retiring, worked very closely with ALGCC on Operation School Bell. Operation School Bell provides clothes and hygiene kits to impoverished children. The Collin County chapter of ALGCC serves six school districts: Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Lovejoy and Prosper.

“At our school, the day the clothing came, was known as the happiest day of the year,” said Oliver. “You may think that’s Christmas or another holiday but for those kids, it was the day they were going to go home with new clothes.”

Oliver shared her personal story and why choosing a career in counseling children living in poverty was a natural fit. “I grew up in poverty so when I had heard of Operation School Bell, I was like, ‘Wow, if only there had been something like that for us when we were little,’” she said. “I’m the only girl of four brothers, so I often wore boy pants and boy shoes and just hoped that nobody in my class would laugh at me.”

Guests were so moved by her testimony and quite shocked when Oliver revealed this statistic: “Twenty percent of our kids in Collin County live in poverty. We’re talking about an average family of four living on $20,000 a year.” She continued, “You have to pay rent and buy food, but when you’re living in poverty, clothing is a luxury item; it comes last.”

According to Oliver, a bag of clothes for an impoverished child can change his or her destiny; it can break the cycle of poverty. “When you feel good on the outside, you feel better on the inside—confident. Kids are the same way. When they put on new clothes, they become different kids,” she said. “Attendance goes up. They are excited to come to school. And when you come everyday, performance is better. A lot of our kids were first-generation college students,” she said.

Oliver received a standing ovation. Then, it was time for the fashion show. The music started and all eyes were on the ALGCC models as they donned the 2016 spring trends. The fitted pant is in; solid black or white is easy to pair with a colorful and whimsical, loose-fitting top. The color of the season? Blue, whether it’s aqua or cobalt. Bold statement purses are also in whether it’s a red fringe or a multi-color beaded purse.

Cynthia Elliot Boutique announced that 10 percent of sales generated from the show will be donated to Assistance League for the entire month of April!

The ALGCC Annual Spring Fashion Show was an inspirational event on all levels. For more information on the ALGCC, visit assistanceleague-gcc.org.

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Member models were:

Charlotte Grimm
Mimi Davis
Rita Hanna
Sue McCormick
Dianne Benyak
Diana Springate
Patti Egbert
Susan Freeze

Assistance League would like to thank the following door price contributors:

Luna de Noche
Nordstrom
Bonefish Grill
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House
Original Pancake House
Jeanne Kelley
Mary Stanton
LaMadeline
Puckett’s Nursery
Chocolate Angel
Starbucks

Brit Mott

Brit is a Leadership Plano Class 25 graduate and Leadership Frisco Class 10 graduate. She received her Master’s in Journalism from the University of North Texas and her Bachelor’s in Mass Communication...