SHE Caribbean, partnering with the ‘Dress a Girl Around the World’ campaign and other sponsors, last Saturday hosted a special day of celebration for 25 young ladies from the New Beginning Transit Home. Dubbed the SHE ‘Dress a Girl’ Glam Party, the event boasted the attendance of the honorary guests as well as several specially invited guests including the wife of Saint Lucia’s prime minister, Raquel Du Boulay-Chastanet; Dr Tanya Beaubrun; former carnival queen and Miss Saint Lucia-Universe Roxanne Didier Nicholas; former Miss Saint Lucia-World Aiasha Gustave; and Chuck and Sheree Hart as representatives of the ‘Dress a Girl Around the World’ campaign.
After lunch at The Yard Café, the girls were presented with their hand-made dresses. In the afternoon they took to the catwalk, eager to parade their outfits before a most appreciative audience. A walk down the makeshift ramp quickly turned into a dance party with the STAR’s Claudia Eleibox on hand to lead the way with carefully choreographed moves. Once the girls settled down, it was time for some inspiring words from guest speaker Dr Beaubrun whose opening lines sought to remind the girls, and everyone else within earshot, that they were valuable, and mattered.
“Within each one of us, lies a diamond,” she said, pausing to make sure she had the full attention of the girls. “As time goes by, we tend to forget how special we are, how beautiful we are, and how unique we are. Today I want you to remember that you have that spark of a diamond inside you; that you are truly unique and truly special, with a talent that must be shared with the world, to make the world a better place.” Her choice words left a lasting effect on the rest of the event.
The girls all went home with armfuls of candy and other tokens including a calendar from the Saint Lucia School of Ballet from tutor and Director of the School, Theresa Lowrie-Collymore, also in attendance.
‘Dress a Girl’ representatives Chuck and Sheree Hart expressed satisfaction with the Glam Party’s turnout.
“I was very pleased with the event,” Sheree enthused. “I think the more the word gets out, the next event could be even more spectacular. It was really nice that the prime minister’s wife was there. Dr Tanya Beaubrun . . . her talk with the girls was very pertinent, very valuable, and I hope that the girls at least took a little something away that they can use for their lives.”
The ‘Dress a Girl Around the World’ campaign benefits underprivileged girls around the globe, and Sheree shared where it all began.
“It all started with a lady called Rachel,” she said, adding that as part of the campaign, dresses are made all over the world, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Philippines, Australia, Sweden, Costa Rica, South Africa, Germany, Norway, Japan and Hong Kong. To date the campaign has delivered over 500,000 dresses to 81 countries.
“It’s always the same pattern, various sizes,” she continued. “I think it’s really important because girls
need to know that they are valued, that they’re special. Which girl doesn’t like a
pretty dress, or just feeling good about themselves?”
The dresses for Saturday’s event were made by Sheree and her husband Chuck’s church in Colorado. She believed there had been some divine intervention leading to their choice of Saint Lucia as part of their yearly vacation, so the dresses could be delivered.
“This turned into a wonderful event for the girls that was not even on our radar,” Chuck said. “It was exciting for us because we were just going to say, ‘Here’s the dresses; we hope it blesses somebody.’ It turned into so much more. From what we’ve seen, we hope it carries on.”
By all accounts, the SHE ‘Dress a Girl’ Glam Party was a resounding success. The event is one of many charitable initiatives on which SHE Caribbean will embark this year.