A few years ago we held a fashion show at our nursing home. Prom apparel was provided by a local clothing store, and our residents were the models. It was so much fun! The residents loved getting all dolled up for the event, and it was clear how much they enjoyed being in the limelight for the afternoon. Today I’ll share tips for making your fashion show a success.
- If you decide to recruit residents as models, make it even more fun by inviting someone from a modeling agency to come in the day before to offer tips on how to work the runway. You can often find students from local cosmetology schools who will volunteer to do the residents’ hair and makeup for the event.
- Invite staff to model outfits from a vintage clothing store. Residents get a kick out of seeing their caregivers in styles they themselves wore in the past.
- Create a completely silly fashion show. Check out these ideas from a Red Hat Club.
- Ask children’s stores to provide outfits in exchange for publicity. Children and grandchildren of residents and staff will have fun being models.
- If you have staff who came here from a variety of other countries as we do at our nursing home, invite them to model outfits from their native lands.
- Host a dog fashion show. Everyone will get a good laugh out of watching the dogs strut down the runway in cute or funny outfits.
- Be sure to recruit a dynamic MC with an entertaining script.
- Use background music appropriate to the theme of your show.
- Don’t skip the rehearsal. This is your opportunity to iron out the unexpected kinks in the show.
- A nice extra touch is to thank people for attending by handing out little gift bags of sample packets (lotions, perfume, etc.) donated by cosmetic companies.
- After the fashion show, be sure to write personal thank you notes to everyone who participated.
You can also use a fashion show as a fundraiser for a special project. This can be done in several ways:
- Charge an admission fee. It usually works best to sell tickets in advance. This way, people make a commitment to be there, and it helps you plan for how many people will attend.
- Ask for a cash donation. People tend to be very generous when they know they’re giving to a worthy cause.
- Combine the fashion show with other fundraisers such as a gift basket silent auction.
- Ask clothing stores to provide the outfits and allow them to offer items for sale afterward. This works especially well with accessory items and children’s clothing. They also might be interested in providing discount coupons for use at their stores. Your organization then receives a percentage of the sales.
Have you ever held a fashion show at your nursing home? I would love to hear your tips in the comment section!
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