Fashion and fundraising combined to help those in the Janesville community Monday.
The 6th annual Simply Saved Fashion Show kicked off 2019 the Hay Daze celebration. This fashion show was sold out with about 200 attendees in the Trinity Lutheran Church Discipling Center. There were so many people, two additional tables were added the morning of the show.
At the fashion show, a total of $23,579 was raised from sales at the thrift store and given out to local causes. This was the highest amount of funds raised since the start of the fashion show in 2014, when $5,000 was donated out.
“It’s a way to distribute the money annually and to give the money back to the community,” Deanna Summers said as part of why they started the fashion show.
The ticket sale money is used to help pay for the fashion show event and is not included in the proceeds donated.
The event featured clothing from the store, as well as humorous skits and comical outfits. Every year, the theme changes based on what stock is available in the store. This year, “Fun in the Sun” was the theme, because as Summers put it, “Everyone was ready for summer when they picked the theme.”
“I think it’s a phenomenal thing that Simply Saved does to help the community; it’s a fun, social time,” attendee Ramona Wilkening said.
On all 25 tables, there was a sand bucket and other beach themed decorations. Along with the decorations was an envelope that people were able to put cash donations in. This money collected, during the show, is used to help people in need in the Janesville community. This money is used throughout the year; an example could be if someone had a fire and needed to replace things.
There were numerous skits given and songs sung, with props from the store, throughout the evening. Choir director Irene Mulcahey even made up a jingle for Simply Saved that she had the treble clef choir perform, along with the volunteers performing the skits as “Church Basement Ladies.”
Louis Lund and Sherryle Williams were the emcees who announced all of the models as they came onto the walkway. Each group, duo and individual had a rhyme to go with their name.
There were men and women of all ages modeling the store clothing.
There were mother daughter duos, sibling duos, families walking the runway together, grandmother and granddaughter duos, friend groups strutting the runway together and individuals from Janesville who modeled the clothing for the crowd. One little girl even told jokes with her grandma as they walked.
Kris Fleming, Sue Stock, Judy Winter, Lund, Williams, Ingrid Huelsnitz and Eugenia Stockman were the volunteers dressed up as the Church Basement Ladies in the skits.
The first fashion show was put on after Simply Saved was opened from the idea of a vicar at Trinity Lutheran Church.
He suggested the church start a thrift store to benefit the church, school and community. At the time, the local vet clinic was moving buildings, so there was a space for the thrift store to go. Simply Saved is strictly run by volunteers who give their time.
Melanie Born, Kay Gottschalk, Leona Gottschalk, June Grams, Debi Griffin, Shari Harsdorf, Karen Priem and Sonja Summers were listed as the volunteers at the thrift shop.
“We’ve been very blessed with all the volunteers and have been able to do a lot of great things with the volunteer staff and community support,” Summers said.
After the fashion show and skit portion of the evening, Summers announced the 16 local causes that would receive funds from Simply saved.
Vacation Bible School received $2,400 to have counselors from Camp Omega, teachers and a bus for the camp. This donation also allows all kids to attend free of charge. On the day of the students are able to take the bus out to Camp Omega and there are already 100 kids signed up for this camp.
The Trinity Lutheran School is also a receiver of six different donations for various programs and spots in the school.
“It’s great that we’re able to get extra things for kids and resupply and expand things,” Trinity Lutheran School Principal Wade Stockman said, “As we build programs like SAC and having the funds to make it run, it’s great for our school.”
Trinity Lutheran Church also received a donation of $3,000 for the Caring Fund.
This fund is to help those in need and not only church members but members of the Janesville Community. The funds can be used to help with utility bills or to pay for the electricity if it’s about to be shut off or to help anyone in need. There are also gift certificates or gas vouchers included that can be given to those in need. People are able to come to the pastor to receive the help they need.