High fashion made affordable

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Gail Hinton-Copeland and I are still receiving &uot;You Go, Girl!&uot; and positive statements about the Booker T. Washington Gospel and Fashion Show that was presented at Booker T. Washington Elementary School last Friday night. Even though we were in competition with many events, we still had a very good turnout and would like to thank those who took the time to support us. I would also like to thank those who contributed and bought tickets to support our effort.

I have been asked many times why the low price for such an event. Gail and I put our heads together to come up with the theory that good things come in small packages. We also thought of the statement that you can win a person over better with honey than you can with vinegar.

For our program we thought that we would get more support being affordable rather than being expensive and that idea sold tickets. We brought the price and the ideas to our BTW Alumni meeting, and it was voted decided that the price of $5 would be our initial amount.

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I was asked why didn’t I take pictures. Picture-taking would have been impossible since I also participated in the event; however, I still want to acknowledge those who made this second presentation a success.

Faye Okolo Holland, the proprietor and owner of CCU Fashions, agreed to work with our alumni members and to provide two models of her own because we wanted as much alumni participation as possible. She also shared the role of emcee and commentator of fashions with Ethel Brown. Brown was also the emcee for the talent portion of the program and modeled two of her very own fashions.

Female models from the BTW association were as follows: Carolyn Edwards Holland, Earlene Lee Banks, Gail Hinton-Copeland, and Evelyn Lee Wall. I was modeling my very own purchases from CCU Fashions. Male models were John Lee Davis and William &uot;Bud&uot; Davis. John modeled some accessories from CCU Fashions and other fashions were his own, and William also modeled his very own fashions. Cliff Edwards served as an escort for models and made a special fashion statement of his very own.

We would also like to thank Corey Banks, Charnelle Banks, Mary Everett, Belinda Everett and Abraham &uot;Mr. CIAA&uot; Mitchell, who is a delight at any fashion show because of his many fashions.

Entertainment was provided by Joycelyn Easley, pianist, and Carrie Sherrod, violinist, who gave a duet performance; Mary, drummer, and Aubrey Everett, pianist, a duet performance; Roland Wilson, soloist; Angels in Motion under the direction of Kaye Jefferson, a praise dance group from East End Baptist Church; Marshe’ Dunaway, sign interpretation; the male voices of Second Chance and the Second Chance Ensemble under the direction of Earlene Davis Lee.

Things would not have run as smoothly without the help of alumni members Deborah Williams Parker Marshe’ Dunaway, Henry Dillard, and John Riddick who worked at the door taking up tickets and money.

Bernadette Biggs was also on hand with her jewelry display to add a special touch to the program.

The alumni wishes to thank all of these people plus the Suffolk City School Board and Patricia Montgomery, principal at Booker T. Elementary, for giving permission to use their facility.

Mary Eley, head custodian, could have been doing anything on her Saturday off but she chose to be present at our function to make sure that the area was clean. She also did an excellent job in making sure that we had the necessary space that we needed to make changes so that the program could run smoothly.

We have always regretted that our unique and better-than-ever reunion took place in 2001 went unrecorded. Ever since that time, I have vowed not to let another important event go by without a taping of that particular event. That is why I sought the service of a very good friend, Eleven Wright, to tape the event, and I could not let this article go to the press without thanking him for his service.

Speaking of video taping, I now have on hand seven video tapes that Wright has developed for the BTW Class of 1962 when we celebrated our 40th reunion on the Labor Day weekend. For those in Suffolk who would like to own one, call me at 934-9615. They will be sold on a first come first serve basis.

Gail and I would like to thank everyone for their cooperation, and I want to commend her for the excellent way that she coordinated the program without my help.

Both Gail and I commend S.T. Williams for the excellent printing of our tickets and Debra for assisting in co-chairmanship duties when I was unable to do so. All of us working together produced excellent results and we love you all.

The Booker T. Washington Alumni Association will hold another reunion in July 2003. The proceeds from this event will go toward scholarships of descendants of alumni members.

We in-town alumni will always make sure that when out of town members come here to celebrate, we will let them know how each and every one of you supported us – the public and participants included.

We will also continue our efforts to raise money for the scholarship fund, and thanks to Wright, this time we have a taping of an event to share with every alumni member one of the ways that we are doing it.

Evelyn Wall is a staff reporter and a regular columnist for the for the News-Herald.