Thrifty finds take the runway

Hospital auxiliary hosts fashion show fundraiser

Auxiliary to Lions Gate Hospital Fashion Show, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 12:30-1:30 p.m. at North Vancouver City Library (third floor), 120 W. 14th St. Just a few tickets remain: $10, available at the LGH Thrift Shop, 128 W. 15th St.

Volunteers with the Auxiliary to Lions Gate Hospital will be strutting the runway in their chicest attire next week to raise money for a good cause.

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The auxiliary is hosting its first-ever fashion show fundraiser on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at North Vancouver City Library and members-turned-models have put together their own ensembles featuring clothing and accessories purchased at the LGH Thrift Shop on 15th Street and the Dogwood Shop inside the hospital, both of which are run by the auxiliary and raise money for the hospital.

"What we're trying to do is showcase the quality of merchandise that we have and the type of prices that we have," says Aren Evers, co-president of the auxiliary and chair of the thrift shop.

Evers, who plans to wear a grey tunic and jewelry from the Dogwood Shop, is serving as emcee and will introduce the models and describe each look. About 15 volunteers will walk the runway and their ensembles will range "from casual sporty to evening dresses and mother-ofthe-bride kind of stuff" she says. "We've got a real gamut of clothing and shoes and jewelry."

The hospital auxiliary often holds fashion shows at its AGMs, Evers says, but Tuesday's event marks their first public style showcase. A makeshift catwalk will be set up on the third floor of the library with spectator chairs lining either side. Loblaws City Market is donating snacks and refreshments.

"It's not going to be really structured like a true fashion show you see on the runways, but it's going to be a lot of fun," Evers says.

All proceeds from the event will go to Lions Gate Hospital. At $10 a ticket, Evers doesn't expect the fashion show to be a major money-maker, but she hopes it will raise awareness about the auxiliary as well as dollars.

"It's an opportunity for us to get our name out there and showcase what we do," she says. "We're hoping that it will create some new clientele coming into the shop."

The Dogwood Shop carries brand new gifts and clothing, while the thrift shop stocks an array of previously owned garments, small appliances and home décor items.

"We're very blessed with the type of donations that people give us. We have a good quality of merchandise, and at really reasonable prices," Evers says. "We have a lot of designer stuff too."

Unlike hospital foundations, which employ paid professionals to raise large sums of money for major projects, auxiliaries are more grassroots and depend on volunteers.

"We give money for medical equipment and for patient needs as well," Evers explains.

The Lions Gate auxiliary has some 200 active members. About 50 volunteer their time at the thrift shop and 30 volunteer at Dogwood. Others choose to offer their services within different areas of the hospital, such as the information desk.

"They're helping people navigate through the hospital, because it can be quite a maze and if you're going to visit someone or you're having a procedure, you're kind of nervous and you need a little help," Evers says.

The auxiliary also does a lot of work at Evergreen House residential care facility, providing services, such as nail clipping, and funds to purchase new beds or TVs.

For those interested in helping the auxiliary, Evers says there are three ways to make a difference.

"Either shop at one of the stores, donate or volunteer," she says, adding, "All the monies stay on the North Shore, they stay in the community."

As of Thursday, the fashion show fundraiser was nearly sold out. Those who manage to snag tickets are advised to hold on to them.

"If they save their ticket they can redeem it back at the thrift store for $5 off their next purchase," Evers says.

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