by Tyrone Tony Reed Jr, Jackson Sun
Madison County Commissioner Katie Brantley could hardly control herself Saturday afternoon as a model from Looking Good/Stylz strutted in several suits on the runway.
“He had me hot and fanning,” Brantley said.
Brantley was among about 200 people who attended the Jackson Chapter of The Links Inc.’s ninth annual fashion show luncheon benefit.
This year, Teri Gore served as mistress of ceremonies. Gore is a senior marketing representative with Thomas Media and director of marketing with West Tennessee Oral and Facial Surgery. Ernest Odell Boyd served as master of ceremonies. Boyd is a shift supervisor in the security division at Lane College.
Fashions were provided by 13 local boutiques and stores: Macy’s; Cambridge Ltd.; Felicia Bella; Looking Good/Stylz; Signatures; Marshalls; Men’s Wearhouse; Staircase Boutique; Stein Mart; TCP Designs; Tricia Lee Designs; Weddings Unlimited & Tuxedos; and Wild Sophistications.
“I come to this event every year,” Brantley said. “This is my favorite time of the year. It’s a lot of fun.”
Deborah Gooch, chapter president, said she believes people keep coming back to the benefit year after year because they want to help young men and because they love fashion.
“I think people enjoy getting out on a Saturday morning, in their hottest fashions, to see fashions for the upcoming year,” Gooch said. “We’re just excited about this event and love doing it every year.”
Proceeds from the event will go to the Beautillion Scholarship Program and college scholarships for local students, Gooch said.
The Beautillion Scholarship Pageant, which will be held in April, introduces graduating male high school seniors to the community and awards them college scholarships.
Since the inception of the program, more than $160,000 has been awarded in scholarships to Beautillion participants to assist in postsecondary education and to Lane College, according to the benefit’s program.
“It’s exciting to be a part of an organization that helps young men to excel in life,” said Margaret Rogers, general chairman of the benefit. “Our young black men have challenges in everyday life, and I’m glad we can help. We need to do even more.”
Rogers added, “We challenge other organizations to do things to help our black males.”
During the benefit, attendees were treated to lunch, fashion and musical entertainment from Smooth Jazz Progressions.
First-time attendee Mba Ude, a Lane College chemistry professor, said he was definitely going to attend the benefit again.
“I think it’s very impressive,” Ude said. “I think it’s a nice thing because they are helping young men get an education.”
Brantley added, “I think it’s a wonderful idea that this benefit is helping young black men. This is also a wonderful affair that we can all enjoy.”
As Brantley looked toward the runway, she applauded as several members of The Links’ local chapter showed off their accessories.
“I love this,” Brantley said. “This has encouraged the women to wear their hats and gloves again.”