Caloosa Belle

WISH holds event for healthcare

Ayman Kaki of K&M Drugs in LaBelle, modeled a tuxedo in the Flamenco Flair event. (Courtesy photo/June Yongco)

Over $47,400 in equipment are being purchased for Hendry Regional Medical Center and the LaBelle Convenient Care Center along with funding a healthcare scholarship for a local student as a result of the 6th annual WISH (Women Involved in Supporting the Hospital) Fashion Show fundraiser.

The event, Flamenco Flair, was held on Saturday, January 20, with 325 tickets sold. The John Boy Auditorium was transformed with huge fans hung high on the walls, chandeliers and lace hung from the ceilings, red and black decor with table centerpieces of tall vases with red flowers and black feathers or wine bottles with candelabras and candles. The event includes the fashion show with local residents as models as well as a very popular designer purse raffle, which brought in $13,000. Heather Vallejo was the winner of the Louis Vuitton tote and wristlet and that purse alone raised over $3100. Bello’s Jewelry & Gifts donated two beautiful Mabe pearl necklace and earring sets.

Cindy Carroll, WISH President stated “We absolutely could not put on such an event without the support of local residents and businesses. You have to remember our fashion show is a fundraiser so we want to have everything possible donated, from purses to orange juice and champagne for mimosas to makeup and hairspray for our stylists to use on our models.” Local businesses such as Stanton Mobile Homes, HE Hill Foundation, Inc., and the Martinez family are all Platinum Sponsors of $3000 each. There were five Gold Sponsors ($1000): CS Aesthetics and Dr. Leonard Carroll, Dr. Earle E. Edwards Orthodontics, Sunshine Family Medicine, Frierson Farms (Alan and Ardis Hammock), and H&R of Belle Glade, Inc. Clyde Johnson Contracting and Ricky Redish Insurance both donated $500 along with several donors of varying amounts: Dr. and Mrs. Karim Kaki, Karson Turner, Karl Larsen, Sugar Realty, and Hospital providers FirstPath Laboratory Services and Wellington Imaging Associates.

Leo Sanchez, audio engineer, opened the fashion show with the song “Havana Nights” and the stage lit up with the first model in a flamenco-style gown. Fashions were provided by Roland Martin’s Marina, Joey’s Girls, CATO of Clewiston, and Maribel’s Bridal & Fashions of West Palm Beach and ranged from casual to evening gown and tuxedoes. The show culminated with bridal party fashions. Deena Perryman was the show’s emcee and director.

So many are involved with an event of this magnitude that it’s difficult to thank everyone, but the members of WISH are grateful to everyone who donated.

WISH was founded in 2012 and currently has 29 members. The funds raised from the fashion show and various smaller fundraising events during the year go toward an annual healthcare scholarship (Carlie Snook is the most recent recipient) and equipment for the hospital based on a needs list that is given to the members from the Hospital administration. Since its inception WISH has raised over $230,000 for HRMC.

According to Brenda Lopez, Decorating chairperson, “We are already working on our January 19, 2019 event. Our decor and theme are always kept secret as part of the allure. Something this good takes a lot of work and we’re up to it.”