Fashion show benefits Christian Activity Center

In the dressing room at Peace by Piece in downtown Belleville, owner Christina Keck and her staff were doing what they like best: Putting outfits together.

In this instance, it was helping dress three models for a spring fashion show. Food, Fashion & Fundraising will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at Sunset Hills Country Club in Edwardsville. The event benefits the Christian Activity Center in East St. Louis. Tickets are $50 and include hors d’oeuvres.

“Let’s try this bag,” said Christina as she handed a black and white tote to model Megan Beyer, 18, of Swansea. Made from salvaged seatbelts, Harvey Handbags are one of the store’s popular brands. All goods sold at Peace by Piece are made in the United States.

Twenty models from kindergartners to teens to seniors will hit the runway in clothes from Peace by Piece and Circa Boutique, both in Belleville, Girls Night Out in Swansea, Wee Peats in Fairview Heights, plus jewelry from Premier Designs, a direct sales business.

Megan, a senior at Belleville West High School, slipped into a V-neck dress with a tropical pattern by Salaam ($115). Her sparkling sandals are from Oka-B ($45).

Emily Mulligan, 21, of St. Louis, is finishing up student teaching and will graduate this spring from Southeast Missouri State University. She chose a creamy, fluttery dress in a peachy-rose shade with ruching on the side made by Eccoskin ($145). Her TOMS wedge sandals are $80.

And Jalicia Whitfield was a standout in a 1960s-inspired, circle-pattern shift. Made by Jude Connally, it is $168. Her ruffled, violet-colored Harvey satchel is $234 and her patent ballet flats are $45 from Oka-B.

She sported $12 chandelier earrings from Greentree and felt very grown-up. She turned 13 on Thursday.

“I like going to the (Christian Activity) center and I like Pathways,” said the sixth-grader, who atttends Unity Lutheran Christian Elementary School in East St. Louis.

The center’s Pathways program helps students, starting in middle school, with awareness about going to college. Students take part in activities there at least three times a week and are enrolled in three programs, on average. They also get to use a dedicated computer lab.

Want to attend the fashion show event? To purchase tickets, go to cacesl.org or call 618-874-5615, Ext. 208.