By: Jan Engoren Contributing Writer
“A Fashion Show With Heart,” presented by JARC Florida, was held Dec. 5, at the Lord & Taylor store in Mizner Park and co-chaired by Carin Friedman and Stacy Klein.
Now in its fourth year, the fashion show raises money for the non-profit, which provides programs and services to educate and empower individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Hosted by emcee and “magicianotist,” Sam Simon, approximately one dozen residents of JARC strode down the runway in the latest fashion trends along with their parent or companion.
“This is such a feel-good event for us,” said Mindy Horvitz, general manager of Lord & Taylor. “Our whole staff got involved, met with the clients and helped them each choose the perfect outfit to wear. There is so much joy here.”
Claudia Dickman, a realtor with the Bridges Connection Team in Delray Beach was excited to be there.
“It’s the first year I’ve been able to attend and I’m excited to come out and support my friends Carin and Scott Friedman.”
First down the runway were Carin Friedman and her son, Gabe, followed by Stacy Klein and her son, Clayton Greenzeig.
Lori Weiser, sporting a white dress by BCBG accompanied her son Douglas Halpern, who was dressed in a Tommy Bahama shirt and yellow suede Kenneth Cole shoes. Halpern, who works at Home Depot, is one of the many JARC residents who works outside the facility.
Three young women, Jackie Warne, Stephanie Constantine and Brooke Shultheiss graced the runway in their matching aubergine outfits.
Warne wore a deep purple dress adorned with black feathers and Constantine showed off a Calvin Klein dress with a cross-body Karl Lagerfeld bag. Complementing the other two women was Shultheiss, wearing a gold necklace and jumpsuit shot through with gold threads.
Miami Hurricane fans and brothers Nick Gay and John Gardner, ambled down the runway in their mixed-and-matched Perry Ellis outfits, as did mother and daughter pair Ellen Gechter with daughter Gaby Gechter.
Ellen Gechter wore black Diane von Furstenberg pants with crystal boots and a beaded black T-shirt, while Gaby Gechter was dressed in a sequined black and gold striped dress by French Connection.
Like Halpern, as part of their residential program, many of these models (aka JARC clients) go out to work on a daily basis, either through the program’s community work initiative, at their Cafe 95, which is operated on the JARC campus or through private employers.
Jeffrey Zirulnick, CEO of JARC, invited participants to come and see the facility firsthand and said, “We have 20 of our clients working throughout the community. This gives us the opportunity to share our wonderful people with you and your company.”
To honor participant Brooke Shultheiss’s birthday, a cake was brought out and auctioned off to raise funds for JARC.
Attorney Caryn Clayman, whose father was a founding member of the organization, bid $1,000 for a slice of birthday cake.