BELMAR, NJ — From business attire to elegant evening wear, all styles were featured on the runway during the annual Visiting Nurse Association Fashion Show, held earlier this week at Taylor Pavilion.

Some 70 people attended the October 23 event, presented by the Belmar Public Library to benefit the Manasquan VNA Thrift Shop, which has been staple in that community’s downtown district for nearly 60 years.  

The show’s fashions were worn by seven volunteer models, including two men representing the Belmar library — library assistant Luis Pulido and library patron Ira Melon, both of who drew rounds of applause during their runway walks.

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 “This should be a lot of fun,” said Pulido, sharply dressed in a suit with coordinating shirt and shoes, waiting for the show to begin.

Melon said he was asked to be a model because he questioned why men weren’t included in past years’ shows. “I guess I got what I asked for,” said the Belmar resident with a smile.

After the audience was welcomed by Sharon Russell-Fowler, president of Belmar Public Library's Board of Trustees, Catherine Kerris took her place behind the microphone as emcee. The 16-year thrift shop volunteer detailed each outfit’s pieces — down to the designer, size and price, with many of the ensembles costing less than $40, complete with shoes and accessories.

At one point, Kerris herself took to the runway, modeling a shawl and several items of jewelry that would be up for sale at the end of the show, along with all the other showcased apparel. 

In her opening remarks, Kerris acknowledged the Belmar library for hosting the fundraiser over the past eight years, including the past three years at the Taylor Pavilion along the beachfront. She also offered special thanks to Peggy O’Connor, an assistant librarian in Belmar and a longtime volunteer at the thrift shop, for “bringing us together.”

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