New Albany News

New Albany Women's Network

Annual fashion show slated Nov. 9

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The New Albany Women's Network has chosen Rachel's House as the beneficiary of this year's charity fashion show.

The fashion show is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Winding Hollow Golf Course and Event Center, 6140 Babbitt Road in New Albany.

Rachel's House, which is operated through Lower Light Ministries of Columbus, helps women re-enter society after being incarcerated.

The New Albany Women's Network board members were impressed with how Rachel's House helps those women "to lead a fulfilling life and to get away from addiction and abusive relationships," said Kerri Laubenthal Mollard, a spokeswoman for the network.

"Women who have been in prison can choose to come to Rachel's House, where they receive housing and support, help in building healthy relationships with their family, spiritual formation and financial, employment and drug-recovery programming," said Jan Ruark, executive director of Lower Lights Ministries.

Ruark said the organization uses a holistic, comprehensive approach and is focused on "empowering women through knowledge and relationship-building, empowering them to become strong women who can lead and make good choices in their lives."

Rachel's House works with 10 to 12 women a year and has served more than 100 women since it was founded in 2002.

Ruark said the average stay is 11 to 14 months.

Since the program began, only 11 percent of the program's graduates have returned to prison, Ruark said.

Laubenthal Mollard said the mission of Rachel's House is consistent with the New Albany Women's Network focus on women and families.

"These are our neighbors, women who have had a very difficult life," she said. "Rachel's House approaches them in a meaningful way. We couldn't wait to help them so they can possibly serve more women."

The Nov. 9 fashion show will feature fashions from 11 shops and boutiques around central Ohio. It also will include a luncheon and cash bar.

Connie Leal Ballenger, owner of Leal Boutique of Upper Arlington, said she will bring holiday and fall items.

Leal Boutique caters to women ages 25 to 65, providing mostly high-end, designer clothes.

Laubenthal Mollard said more boutiques and clothiers are participating in this year's fashion show and almost all are new to the show.

Other featured boutiques and shops include: Belles & Beaux Children's Boutique of Gahanna; Brigade of Columbus; Homage of Easton and Columbus; J. Crew of Easton and Polaris; J. McLaughlin of Upper Arlington; Ladybird of Columbus; Nicole's for Children of Powell; Tailfeathers Boutique of New Albany; Thread of Dublin and Grandview; and Matilda Jane Clothing, which does trunk shows.

This year's emcee is Kristy Eckert, editor of Capital Style and a columnist for The Columbus Dispatch.

Admission is $45 or $400 for a table that seats 10. Online registration is at NAWN.org/fashion-show.

No paper tickets will be distributed. Attendees will have to check in at the door Nov. 9.

Laubenthal Mollard said the goal is to host 200 guests. All proceeds from this year's event will benefit Rachel's House; the network board selects a beneficiary each year.

Last year's fashion show raised $30,000 for the YWCA Family Center in Columbus, Laubenthal Mollard said.

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