Nearly 250 guests convened at the Fairmont Hotel for the 40th annual Lupus Luncheon and Fashion Show "Fashion at the Fairmont", Saturday, April 7. Guests were welcomed to the event by Melissa Ferraro, CEO, and treated to an array of silent auction items, a chef created luncheon, and a couture fashion show.
Introductions were made by the events emcee, Larry Richert, of honorees, Donna Polito, Honorary Chair of the luncheon, and Rosalyn Heleniak, a strong advocate for patients rights and promoting awareness of Lupus, which she was diagnosed with at the age of 28.
Karen Pool, Board Chair, and the daughter of Barbara Vandergrift, founder of the Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania, spoke of the organizations goal to promote awareness, education, service and research for those affected by lupus
The couture fashion show, featured local designers incorporating the butterfly, a central motif associated with lupus. The interpretation of this concept resulted in an array of stunning creations with each designer's unique perspective. Judged by Tom Michael of Larrimor's, Richard Parsakian of Eons Fashions, and Marcus Robinson of the Pittsburgh Bullets, Jamie Miller took home first prize at the competition, with second going to Bradford Mumpower, and Laurie Pascuzzi, third. The winning designs will be available to view at Larrimor's, 249 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15222.
Artist, David Connelly, created a custom mural for the Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania. His work can currently be viewed at the Cyclops Cafe in Bellevue. He will also accept commissions to create custom art work.
Affecting 1.5 million Americans, Lupus is a chronic, inflammatory disease in which the body's immune system fails to protect normal functions and antibodies form which attack healthy tissue and organs. The disease is more prevalent in Woman, with about 90% of those affected being young women. To learn more visit The Pennsylvania Lupus Foundation.
|Leesa Kassler in her own design and her Lupus Fashion Creation|
|Eva Dixon's gown appeared to be a black and gold mermaid evening gown, until her model opened her arms to reveil translucent sequin "wings"|
|Leesa Kasssler's stunning red, transparent gown, with a full circle skirt, with matching wings.|
|Jamie Miller's design evolved from a Cocoon to a Butterfly winged sleeve|
|Bradford Mumpower's 1950's inspired dress featured 150 butterflies|
|Jamyce Patterson's creative design transformed into a stunning pant ensemble modeled by Tamisha Thomas|
|Lauria Pascuzzi's design was reminiscent of the chaotic feeling which comes following a diagnosis of Lupus. The disease has touched her personal, with both her Mother and her cousin diagnosed with Lupus.|
|Jamie Miller and her winning design|
|Bradford Mumpower with Dana Quinn|
|Jayden Inge, and Lea Edmunds , mother and daughter team volunteering|
|David Connelly's custom created Mural for the Lupus Foundation of Penn|
|Jamyce Patterson with Tamisha Thomas|
|Bradford Mumpower with Richard Parsakian|
|Lisa Korinek with Linda Pokos|
|Models and Designers|
|Eva Dixon's design|
|Artist, David Connelly|