Statuesque models strutted the runway bedecked in contemporary women’s fashions at Wednesday’s Eleganza Luncheon & Fashion Show at the Hotel du Pont. And while the ambiance was opulent and the apparel luxurious, each one of the 250 (mostly ladies) in attendance were motivated to turn out not so much by the sizzle and style, but by the purpose served: benefitting the Ministry of Caring and its life-sustaining programs for the needy.
Tens of thousands were raised were raised for the Ministry’s emergency shelters and job placement center.
As for the fashion, the sell-out event featured some of the hottest couture going, curated by Beth Buccini for her designer boutique Kirna Zabête, with locations in New York, East Hampton, Bryn Mawr and Palm Beach. Her fashions are also available on the company website.
Ministry of Caring Guild President Janet Killian said supporters at today’s event will make a huge difference in the nonprofit’s bottom line. “The Ministry of Caring serves the poorest of Delaware,” she said. “Eleganza brings us all together and serves as an opportunity to have and to share new beginnings.”
This is the second year Beth Buccini has partnered with the Ministry of Caring to showcase her designer collections at Eleganza. Her fashions, which have been featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country, have added a fresh appeal to one of the Guild’s longest-running fundraisers. Buccini brought some of her top models from Philadelphia and New York to showcase her five biggest fall trends for 2018 – plaid, crazy coats, logomania, animal and evening.
Buccini has international flair in abundance but deep local connections: she’s married to Rob Buccini, co-owner of the Buccini/Pollin Group.
“It was such an honor to return for the 2nd year to host the Ministry of Caring fashion show,” said Buccini. “Brother Ronald is a force, and I’m proud to support such an amazing charity that does so much good for our community!”
Led by Chair Robin Richman, this year’s Eleganza 2018 also featured boutique shopping, a live auction, door prizes and a grand raffle for a trip to Orlando. Honorary Chair Michael Hemphill, of the Michael Christopher Salon enjoyed his turn on the runway showing each of the live auction items up for bidding. Models’ hair and makeup were done by Dionne Michelle from Philadelphia.
Jenn Treen is a direct recipient of one of the Ministry of Caring’s most successful programs and is someone many of guests know well. She spoke movingly at Wednesday’s luncheon about how Hope House helped turn her life around.
“Many years ago, I had a great life. But with the onset of a sickness, I developed a drug addiction, one that I sustained for a long, long time,” said Treen. “Ultimately, I found myself in jail for drunk driving. I had no money, no job, no home. Then a friend recommended I call Hope House. They gave me the love, support and safety I never thought I would ever experience again.”
Treen is now an employee of the Ministry of Caring and is full of hope for the future. She works daily to provide dignity and respect to others who have fallen on hard times.
Any Ministry of Caring event would not be complete without the presence and stirring remarks by its founder and executive director. Brother Ronald Giannone offered a warm smile to all and reminded guests why their support is so important. “We need your support in our fight against poverty and homelessness. For it is in giving that we receive.”