Oak Park residents strut their stuff in fashion show

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 8, 2011

By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY — Judging by the latest fashion show in Salisbury, this fall, gray is “in.”
A group of local senior adults had fun becoming models for a day during the first Oak Park Retirement Community afternoon tea and fashion show.
To get ready for the runway, 14 community residents got their hair done by Barbara McDaniel and Darlene Owings, co-owners of Glory Days Salon, and their makeup applied by Mary Kay consultant Donna Blackwell.
“I felt like a teenager again, running around and getting ready for my first date,” said 88-year-old Ella Freeman.
In 2009, Freeman won a contest during a fashion show at another center in Lexington, she said. But her enthusiasm wasn’t dampened by her veteran status.
“I’ve had the time of my life,” she said.
For the latest fall fashions, the women had gone shopping Tuesday at Christopher and Banks in Concord Mills. The store allowed them to borrow the outfits they picked out, but several of the women said they wanted to buy the clothes they were modeling.
Freeman wore a tan cable-knit sweater over a white shirt with large dangling earrings and a dark necklace to match.
Sisters Margie Crowell and Alma Ellenburg picked out clothes themed in teal and purple, respectively.
“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed this,” Crowell said.
“We both got permanents yesterday,” Ellenburg added, pointing to her white, freshly curled hair.
Katherine Ledbetter, 93, showed off some fall color in a red button-down jacket over a white shirt, brown pants, a red-and-brown patterned scarf and matching jewelry.
As they walked along a red carpet, one by one, announcer Buddy Farman described their outfits and complimented their style. The audience enjoyed tea and finger foods as they clapped and cheered for the models.
At the end of the show, each of the women was given a long-stemmed rose.
“I think it was beautiful, and everybody here was beautiful,” said LorettaMcKinney. “We had a grand time shopping.”
Oak Park Manager Karen Diekhans said she’s glad the women had fun.
“They had a great time, between the shopping trip and the presentation with family and friends,” Diekhans said. “All the ladies went shopping and had a special day together.“
Karen Leonard, activities coordinator, said enhancing quality of life for residents is part of the Oak Park’s mission.
The community already had a regular men’s night out, and staff members wanted to do something special for the ladies, Leonard said. That started as an afternoon tea, and soon, an idea for the larger event came up.
“We wanted to give these women a fun day with hair, makeup and wardrobe with fall fashions,” Leonard said. “Fashion never goes out of style at Oak Park.”
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
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