Monday, August 29, 2016

Salvation Army Caring Center Fourteenth annual Garbage Bag Gala

Salvation Army Garbage Bag Gala

Salvation Army Caring Center Fourteenth annual Garbage Bag Gala

On Friday October 30h, the Fairmont Hotel Pittsburgh was the setting for this year's Garbage Bag Gala to benefit The Salvation Army's Family Caring Center. The concept was created from the philosophy that rather than spending money on an expensive gown, a stylish outfit could be created from trash bags and recycled materials, and the perception “that everyone and everything deserve a second chance to be something great.”

Donna Fencik and Danielle Shirer , of the Salvation Army Western Pennsylvania Division, along with event co-chairs Jacque Speed and Astrid Bitzer, assured the event was executed flawlessly.

The ballrooms was transformed by a 20 foot garbage bag streamer creation hanging over the fashion show runway, a vision of event planner Shari Zatman, who volunteered her time and talent. Silver and white floral arrangements graced the tables as guest mingled and enjoyed appetizers and music by guitarist Mark Lucas and singer Tania Grubbs. Silent auction items included trips, jewelry, and sport memorabilia.

As patrons enjoyed the Asian cuisine buffet provided by the Fairmont , the evening's emcee Katherine Amenta, welcomed Major Deborah Sedlar, Divisional Commander, for The Salvation Army, Western Pennsylvania Division, to the stage to speak about the accomplishments of the Family Caring Center before launching into the main event, the Fashion show, featuring couture inspired gowns, by local designers constructed primarily of garbage bags and recycled materials.

The show got off to an amazing start with designs by Alexis Meeker featuring a stunning evening gown with geometric detail paired with a men's suit constructed from trash bags with matching geometric pattern. Tierney Smith modeled a sheath style dress with gold caged bottom designed a by Tierney and Bailey Miller.

Michael Anthony created a gold strapless dress with electrical tape design and fringed skirt which looked more like a couture cocktail dress, than something created from trash bags. Sofiya Mozley went more with a whimsical creation of multi -colored trash bag rosettes.

A masterpiece of rosettes and leaves was created by milliner and designer Gina Mazzotta, and modeled beautifully by Melanie Crockard. Kate Minton Colussy's sixties inspired mini dress featured chain like trim constructed from slides, and Jamie Miller created a couture inspired evening gown for her model, Bambi.

Sam Ruby designed with a wedding theme in mind, putting her model Anna in a braided bodice wedding gown, and Mackenzie Smith in a Lavender trash bag rosette flower girl dress. Beth Shari modeled her own Victorian inspired creation constructed of magazines, vertical blinds, and trash bags.

A show stopper for the evening , Bradford Mumpowers's backless halter dress, featured a ruched bodice and a structured double tiered skirt. The dress was accessorized with a vogue magazine and duct tape handbag.

Two sisters, Ashley Stark in a stunning V- neck newspaper cocktail dress with ruffled skirt and Kelsey Stark, dressed in a one shoulder lavender tiered evening dress, rounded up the show in style with their creations.

Always inventive, Lana Neumeyer created a dress from environmental disposal trash bags, orange fencing and plumes which won the judges votes for Garbage Bag Gala winner of 2015. Each designer exhibited great creativity and style.

Over 150 guest , many dressed in their own interpretation of garbage bag chic, came together to support and raise money for the Salvation Army Family Caring Center, To donate to the Family Caring Center, please visit


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