E3Inspire founder Brandie de la Rosa presented $1,500 each to Briarpatch Youth Services and Little John’s Kitchen, as the proceeds from the organization’s first-ever fashion show will benefit two organizations that support survivors of domestic violence.
The fashion show, held in March, featured models who had been impacted by domestic violence, de la Rosa said.
“I used to model way back in my younger days. Something kind of near and dear to my heart. It’s a fun thing to do when I was younger, but now we want to do it with a purpose,” de la Rosa said at a press conference Thursday. “So all the models that participated in the show were actually those impacted by domestic violence … so it was very important for me to have that day be all about them. Have their hair, makeup, clothes, just feel really good about themselves. And instead of thinking about focusing on the past and all the hurt that happened to them, that’s a night of healing.”
She said about 100 people attended the show at the Goodman Community Center on Madison’s east side, and proceeds came from both ticket sales and additional donations.
“This is really a testament to our community, particularly our business community who steps up and support our most vulnerable youth,” said Gloria Reyes, CEO of Briarpatch Youth Services, which provides shelter and support for young people who are unhoused, often due to family violence.
Little John’s Kitchen provides meals for people in need as well as jobs and training for people emerging from domestic violence.
“We’re proud to be part of the fashion show even though she didn’t let me go down the catwalk,” joked David Heide, founder and chef of Little John’s. The organization is in the midst of a $10 million capital campaign to build a new facility to increase its capacty from 10,000 meals a week to 200,000, Heide said.
“We keep telling everyone in Dane County, there’s 600,000 people. If everyone can just help out with 10 bucks, then we can get to our goal and start feeding even more people. So this is the equivalent of 150 people donating that 10 bucks,” he said.
De la Rosa said planning for next year’s fashion show is already underway, and more events are in the works as well.