It may not have had the chic factor of a runway in the fashion houses of Paris or Milan, but the glitter and gleam was equaled by the smiles of 65 girls from Chase Elementary School at a fashion show in the Sylvania Senior Center.
One by one, the girls graced the stage to show off new jumpers made for them by The Homemakers, a group of women based at St. Joseph of Sylvania parish. The group has made the dresses for girls in 15 schools in the area.
The women enjoy working for the youngsters and want them to know that the older ladies are thinking of them as they sew, said group member Pat Sager.
Sheryl Brown, a teacher at Chase who helped coordinate the activity and the fashion show, said that when the girls - all in kindergarten, first or second grade - were told about the plan, they were very excited.
"They just kept asking 'when's the show, when's the show'?" she said.
Ms. Brown told the group at the senior center that much like anyone else, the girls feel good about themselves when they're wearing new clothes and were delighted when each of them was allowed to pick out two or three new jumpers.
In addition to sewing the jumpers, the women visit the school and help the girls pick out the ones they want and make sure the fit is right.
The Homemakers has been sewing jumpers for about seven years. The material and blouses the girls wear under the jumpers are all donated, Mrs. Sager said.
In addition to the gifts being a charitable gesture, they are intended to make something of a fashion statement.
The women aren't taken with the "immodest" clothing that's often worn today and they want to show that young girls can look good in the jumpers provided by The Homemakers, Mrs. Sager said.
Chase principal Steve Riddle said the children were thrilled with the gifts, and hopes the fashion show for the ladies and others at the senior center was enjoyed as a way of giving something back.
Each of the girls wore bright hair ribbons fashioned by the La-Tea-Dolls, a group from the center.
One of the girls presented long-stem roses to Irene Jakubowski, who said she had just finished her 1,500th jumper for The Homemakers.
She said she adds trim to all of the jumpers, "because I hate plain."
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