Susan G Komen Houston and Sam Houston Race Park teamed up for the Houston Ladies Classic this past weekend. The night of racing and style didn't just serve up entertainment, but also a runway full of inspiration.
Partnerships like the Houston Ladies Classic are part of a larger awareness effort by Komen Houston. The organization, which is celebrating its 25th year in the Houston area, is focused on getting out in front of the public to share information about the services they support.
"We are always looking for new opportunities to educate and reeducate people about what we do. We don't necessarily provide the mammograms or other services, we actually raise the money to fund organizations that do that. So, there is actually 23 organizations within our seven county area that we service that provide free and low cost mammograms and transportation," says Erika Green, Development Director for Susan G. Komen Houston.
Jamie Neilsen, Director of Marketing for Sam Houston Race Park, sees their now three-year collaboration with Komen Houston as a perfect match for the park. The success of the partnership has Neilsen looking to bring in other charities working in and around the Houston area. "This is our third year working with Susan G. Komen and one dollar per ticket sold tonight goes to them each year. So, we'll probably continue to work with them on a regular basis, but this year I'm also talking to a couple of charitable organizations including American Heart Association Red Day. So we are trying to get very involved with the community."
For the race fans, horses bearing names like Pretzel Logic, Bikini Line, and Girl's Rule - my personal favorite - competed in ten races dotting the evening's revelry. For the fashion crowd, it was all about the three shows presented by Vintage Park boutique LaVeVee Couture.
Store owner Evy Knight and her team partner with Komen Houston on a regular basis, but this was their first time working with Sam Houston Race Park. For her, the work isn't about placing her store in the spotlight, but the amazing women she gets to dress.
"We do a lot of events with Susan G. Komen. I just love working with Komen. The women, they inspire me." When asked how she goes about styling each women, Knight says, "I want them to show their inner self. A lot of them haven't felt beautiful in a long time. One of the ladies going through chemo right now said, 'You know when I look in the mirror, I don't feel beautiful. But, tonight I feel beautiful.' That brings tears to my eyes."
The LaVevee team put on not one, but three shows, two of which featured the stores's signature models, nicknamed Sophie Grace and the LaVeVee Girls, wearing casual and evening pieces from the trendy shop.
But, the models we were all looking forward to were the cancer survivors. As the music blared through the speakers, hundreds of people looked on as each strutted her stuff through the main concourse. Family and friends sat front row cheering their loved ones on as they walked.
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Three ladies, Molly Bobrow, Myra Hill, and contest winner Lo Lyons, shared their story of triumph with the audience to room wide applause.
It was a great night at the race park honoring fantastic women. Who says fashion can't make a difference?