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December 11, 2012

Charity fashion show to help Iraqi Christian refugees

By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Local fashion boutiques and salons will be fundraising in style to help persecuted Christian Iraqi refugees this month.

Fashionistas will gather for the Fourth Annual Passion for Fashion show Dec. 13 at the Shenandoah Country Club in West Bloomfield. The event will raise money for the Adopt-A-Refugee Family Program.

According to Event Chair Derek Dickow, 10 local salons and 10 local boutiques will pair up into teams to arrange models, clothing, beauty and fashion.

“They’ll walk the runway, showing off the styles and makes of the different selections,” Dickow said. “It’s going to be a fun night. We’re going to have a lot of people show up.”

According to organizers, more than 600 people went to last year’s fashion show. This year, WDIV Local 4 Fashion Editor Jon Jordan and Miss Michigan USA 2013 Jaclyn Schultz are planning to host the event.

According to organizers, a portion of event ticket sales and all money raised from a silent auction will go to charity. This year, the fashion show decided to help the Adopt-A-Refugee Family Program.

In an email statement, Dickow said the event intends to spread awareness about the plight of the refugees.

“There are countless families in Iraq and the surrounding countries — including Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs and Armenians — being singled out, persecuted, kidnapped, raped, and even murdered because of their religious beliefs,” he said.

Basil Bacall, chairman of the Adopt-A-Refugee Family Program, said many Christians still live in the Middle East but were forced out of Iraq due to persecution following the Iraq War.

Bacall praised the idea of the fashion show as a way to promote a positive cause. “I think it’s a great thing,” he said. “It’s channeling all this positive energy of the youth and turning something that is supposed to be for commerce into humanitarian help for people who need it the most.”

Leslie Binno, owner of the Royal Duchess boutique in West Bloomfield, said this is the third year that her business is taking part in the fashion show. She added that she has found six models who will wear her selection of clothes while getting make up from another local business, The Beauty Lounge.

“We’re going to be actually showing the latest for the winter — mostly holiday apparel,” she said. “We got a lot of sequins, a lot of leather and studs.”

The Fourth Annual Passion for Fashion show will take place at 9 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Shenandoah Country Club, 5600 Walnut Lake Road, in West Bloomfield. The event is produced by Steward Media with the assistance of PayAnywhere and Groupon.

Find advance tickets at www.groupon.com/deals/4th-annual-passion-for-fashion. Learn more about the Adopt-A-Refugee Family Program at www.adoptarefugee family.org. Learn more about Royal Duchess at www.royaldutchessinc.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at eczarnik@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1058.