Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 29, 2012

A good dressing up

Fundraiser set for Dec. 1 will help organization that helps women entering the work force

Lee Ward
Associated Press

HUNTINGTON — The second annual holiday brunch and boutique to support Dress for Success River Cities is scheduled for Dec. 1 at Huntington’s Kitchen.

Alexis Mattingly, a member of the board of directors of Dress for Success River Cities and chairwoman of the event, said the brunch gives participants the chance to get into the holiday spirit.

“While our guests have brunch in a festive holiday atmosphere, they will have an opportunity to preview some of the hottest holiday gift items from several participating downtown retailers,” she said, noting there are no sales at the event, but participants are encouraged to continue their shopping at local businesses, which will have displays at the brunch and will donate a percentage of their sales made by boutique visitors to the organization.

Many of the local businesses who will have holiday gift displays at the brunch will donating to Dress for Success River Cities a percentage of sales made to Brunch attendees on the day of the event. All proceeds from the luncheon will benefit Dress for Success River Cities, which helps local women get jobs by providing appropriate office clothing as well as networking opportunities.

Dress for Success River Cities, founded in 2007, is the only chapter of the national organization in the area and serves Boyd, Greenup, Carter, Elliott and Lawrence counties in Kentucky; Cabell, Wayne, Putnam, Lincoln and Mason counties in West Virginia; and Lawrence, Gallia and Scioto counties in Ohio.

The next year, which was the first full year of operations, the organization suited 55 clients. At the end of 2011, 279 were served and the group expects  to have served 325 by the end of the year, Christina Ward, executive director for the organization, said.

Besides providing office wear, the organization also has a career center and two new programs.

Professional Women’s Group is open to currently employed DFS alumnae who are in the workforce and provides career and professional development resources through networking and lectures about career and professional growth opportunities, Elswick said.

Going Places Network serves unemployed and underemployed clients and provides professional skills development, career coaching, job search assistance and greater self-confidence, she said.

“All year long, we accept donations of new or gently used professional clothing, shoes, and accessories as well as monetary donations,” Elswick said. “We are also always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help with a wide variety of needs from personal shopping assistants to program volunteers to fundraising volunteers and beyond.”

A holiday brunch and boutique will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 1 at Huntington’s Kitchen at 911 Third Ave. in Huntington. Proceeds will benefit Dress for Success River Cities. Tickets are $25. Seating is limited and advance ticket purchase is recommended by calling (304) 522-3011.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.