Great Falls Friends and Neighbors Scholarship Fund hosted the “2016 Spring Fashion Show” at Bloomingdale’s in Tysons Corner Center on April 24.

The event, which raised more than $25,000 for the scholarship fund, featured a champagne brunch, raffle, silent auction and shopping opportunity, in addition to the fashion show itself. This was the organization’s first fashion show fund-raiser and almost 200 people attended.

The fashion show opened with a champagne brunch, followed by welcoming remarks from WUSA-TV news anchor Andrea Roane. A former schoolteacher, Roane is renowned for her strong stance on empowering women and fervent commitment to women’s health, club leaders said.  

Ricki Harvey, president of the scholarship fund’s board, then talked about the fund and the importance of educating women.  

Past scholarship recipients Martina Atabong and Hela Baer explained how the scholarships they received changed their lives and those of their families. Atabong is the single mother of a young son and the first in her family to attend college. Baer moved to the United States from Israel at the age of 8. Her mandatory military experience influenced her decision to attend George Mason University and study conflict analysis and resolution.  

The fashion show and its lineup of clothing were the work of Bloomingdale’s store manager Bill Ruhrkraut, public-relations manager Heather Guay and personal-shopping manager Effie Elkorek.  Adding to the glamor were Dior Makeup and Toka Hair, which donated their cosmetic and hair-styling services to the event.  

Eighteen models participated in the show, including Bloomingdale’s professional models and members of Great Falls Friends and Neighbors. Four grandchildren of club members, ranging from 3 to 14 years old, also walked the runway in Bloomingdale’s fashions.  

Following the runway fashions, raffle items were awarded and the silent-auction winners announced. Attendees received gifts that varied from a basket of salon services to a week’s stay on Marco Island, Fla.  

Harvey closed the event and invited attendees to shop at Bloomingdale’s.  The store has agreed to donate 10 percent of the attendees’ purchases to the scholarship fund.

Sally Andrew-Pyne, fund-raising director for the scholarship fund, had oversight responsibility for the fashion show.  Some of the event’s top sponsors were the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation, Rosenfeld Family Foundation, Diamond Dream Foundation, Inova Health Services and United Bank.  

To learn more about the Scholarship Fund program, become a sponsor or donate money, see the Web site at

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