Fashion Extravaganza and Luncheon heart-warming

Published 3:48 pm Monday, August 30, 2010

Sonja Farrington (Left) introduces model Felicia Blake during the luncheon.

The first annual Fashion Extravaganza and Luncheon at Grace Christian Church was an entertaining and warm-hearting affair enjoyed by all in attendance.

Claire Blake, president of the church’s Christian Women’s Fellowship the past year, conceived the idea as she recalled fashion shows she was involved with in church activities some 20 years ago.

“This past spring, I was thinking we needed to do something fun to hopefully bring more people to Grace, so I approached the group and the rest is history. The people at Grace are consistently warm and kind and just need a nudge,” Blake said.

Valya Mobley, vivacious mistress of ceremony, welcomed guests who filled every available corner in the sanctuary lower level. The Rev. Tommy Morgan gave the invocation and joined ladies at the crisp white-clothed tables adorned with tiered plant centerpieces and shoe and hat-shaped mints at each place setting.

An attentive wait staff was composed of the “Men of Grace,” who nimbly slipped about serving, refilling drinks, making themselves helpful and providing dedicated kitchen clean-up. The men also provided air-conditioned transportation to the sanctuary for all those unable to climb stairs for the fashion show portion.

The tasty luncheon croissant and salad was followed by a slice of to-die-for strawberry cake made by Peggy Niolon. The lengthy list of door prizes included donations by vendors present, the table centerpieces and a lovely ceramic fruit platter made by Pam Knight — all happily claimed by winning ticketholders.

Sonja Farrington and Jamaica Dunnigan of Christopher and Banks in Alabaster’s Colonial Promenade presented a selection of very wearable fashions suitable for today’s woman at work, travel and leisure.

On hand representing products were Lin Howell of Thirty-One, a faith-based gift company; Mary Jane Marcus with BeautiControl Cosmetics and Donna Smith with Mary Kay Cosmetics, who also provided make-up application for the models.

Lou Knight recruited and instructed model volunteers and was assisted by Whitney Ardovino during show time. King Knight was in charge of sound and music.

Modeling and sashaying with a few winks and definite good humor were Linda Ardovino, Claire Blake, Felicia Blake, Kim Edwards, Phyllis Gibson, Tammy Hogue, Cheryl McDonald, Nancy Morgan, Coleen Morlan and Peggy Perryman.

“What a frenzy of clothes changing! I was yanking on boots and shoving in earrings while heading down the runway,” said Kim Edwards.

Many hands made light work of an acclaimed successful endeavor.

Laura Brookhart can be reached by e–mail at