Whenever I meet people familiar with The Baddour Center, I often ask about their first “connection.” For many if not most, it’s The Miracles; however, I contend the annual Baddour Center Fashion Show held its own and reached a huge number over its 40-plus year run.
With the pandemic forcing cancellations, dating back to 2020, we decided to end this event and former Baddour staple. Identifying an appropriate venue, controlling costs, recruiting stores and models…these tasks and others grew increasingly difficult through the years. Coupled with declining attendance figures, the decision became an increasingly clear one.
It saddens us to see it go, knowing so many volunteer models, show attendees, sponsors, volunteer performers and technicians, and other partners poured themselves into it. The event beautifully combined the “3 T’s” of a successful fundraising event – time, talent, and treasure. I will miss seeing Ms. Babbie with the microphone, entertainingly ad-libbing despite our script. I missed seeing Ms. Beverly attend to her models and missed stopping afterward in her place, The Upstairs Closet, to say “thanks” to her and her ladies. (I don’t frequent many ladies’ boutiques. Ha!) I will miss seeing the child and toddler models, who were always so CUTE. I probably shouldn’t have cited specifics, as I’ll miss many more things about it, including seeing many of you.
At the same time, we exit this era satisfied that everyone’s collective energy and engagement through the show helped make Baddour Center what it is today…a thriving community for persons with intellectual disabilities and autism. We are serving persons whose families span the country. We are serving residents who have lived most of their lives at Baddour. We are presently rebuilding and renovating every residence on campus and experiencing success in our “Building the Best Life” campaign. None of this would be possible without the foundational foresight, sacrifice, and success that manifested through the Fashion Show.
If you are reading this, then the odds are strong that you’ve attended a show or are at least familiar with its significance. Thank you for being a part and for your support! Join us in giving thanks for the success it was and the contribution it made! Join us in lifting the future and the endeavors we undertake to fill this void.
Parke Pepper, Executive Director