Mod­els for Men­tal Health

Fundraiser fash­ion show aims to raise money, aware­ness

The News (New Glasgow) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ADAM MACINNIS

Mod­els for Men­tal Health is re­tun­ing for a fourth and fi­nal year.

The event, which was started and is still or­ga­nized by vol­un­teers Lily DeYoung and Shawna Cole­man, will be held this year on Nov. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Sum­mer Street In­dus­tries.

Money raised at the fundraiser will once again be going to the Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion of Nova Sco­tia, but as is in pre­vi­ous years, it will be ear­marked for pro­grams in Pic­tou County.

In the past, funds have helped sup­port New Hope, Pre­serv­ing our Men­tal Health, Roots for Youth and other pro­grams in the com­mu­nity.

While they try to in­ject a few new el­e­ments each year, DeYoung said it will be a sim­i­lar for­mat to other years with the fash­ion show, silent auc­tion as well as a 50/50 draw and cash bar. Starr Dob­son, Pres­i­dent of the Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion of Nova Sco­tia, will once again em­cee the event. Fash­ions will be by Marj Hatherly, Ladies Con­sign­ment Shop, Tata­m­agouche. Fea­tures fash­ions will be avail­able after the show for pur­chase.

“It’s a fun af­ter­noon, “Cole­man said. “Peo­ple come and seem to re­ally en­joy them­selves.”

While rais­ing money in an im­por­tant part of the event, she said they also want to help keep peo­ple in­formed.

“We want to cre­ate aware­ness and con­tinue the con­ver­sa­tion about chang­ing the way peo­ple think and lift­ing the stigma,“DeYoung said.

This will be the last year the event is held, but the pair said they’ll be look­ing at some­thing in the fu­ture to re­place it.

“Ev­ery­thing goes out of fash­ion,” DeYoung said.

What she’s en­joyed most about tak­ing part is the ex­cite­ment of peo­ple who wanted to be in­volved.

“It’s amaz­ing how many peo­ple con­tact us who say, ‘how can we help?’ ‘Can we model.’”

Cole­man said there are a lot of mov­ing parts to con­tend with to make this event a suc­cess, but it’s in­spir­ing to be a part of.

“It al­ways leaves you with a nice sense of ac­com­plish­ment at the end,” she said.

“We al­ways have a won­der­ful crowd and great com­mu­nity sup­port and great com­mu­nity in­volve­ment.”

Tick­ets can be pur­chased at any Sco­tia­bank in Pic­tou County for $20.

There is also an op­tion to pay it for­ward.

“If you want to pur­chase a ticket and you know you can’t make it you can pur­chase a ticket and we will find homes for those tick­ets,” Cole­man ex­plained.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions rep for Mod­els for Men­tal Health Kim Dick­son said that the lead­er­ship pro­vided by Cole­man and DeYoung has been a key el­e­ment in the suc­cess of the Mod­els for Men­tal Health Fash­ion Show and Fundraiser since its in­cep­tion.

“It was an in­stant suc­cess due in large part to their pres­ence in the com­mu­nity and the re­spect they have earned,” she said.

“They are pas­sion­ate to raise aware­ness, to elim­i­nate the stigma con­nected to men­tal health chal­lenges and to help and sup­port those and their fam­i­lies deal­ing with these chal­lenges. They want to give back to their com­mu­nity and the com­mu­nity has ral­lied and re­sponded with great gen­eros­ity and kind­ness. The Mod­els for Men­tal Health Fash­ion Show en­ables mean­ing­ful par­tic­i­pa­tion from so many and that is also an im­por­tant part of its ap­peal.”

ADAM MACINNIS/THE NEWS

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