Wonderful was the word most often used to describe a fashion show presented to residents of Cranford Senior Housing by volunteers with the Westfield Service League (WSL) on Friday.
“We’re thrilled to have the Westfield Service League model their fabulous outfits and that our residents can purchase at an affordable price,” said Cindy Rabinowitz, Executive Director of Cranford Senior Housing. “We appreciate the volunteers’ time and energy and commitment to community and fundraising efforts to benefit other community organizations.”
This was the second year that WSL staged a Thrift Store fashion show for Cranford Senior Housing. This time, three residents — Providencia Garcia, Wanda Smith and Tina Lamonte — also took to the runway as models amid much encouragement, applause and cheering. Also new this year, some residents of Westfield Senior Housing, who decided to take a field trip to the fashion show, joined Cranford seniors in the audience.
Carrie Motley, Recreation Director for Westfield Senior Housing, said it had requested a fashion show for its residents but didn’t really have the facilities for the WSL’s Thrift Store popup boutique, so she decided to bring Westfield residents via bus to Cranford, which has a spacious auditorium. After watching and cheering on the models, residents were treated to refreshments and could shop for reasonably priced items, which were hauled to the auditorium by an army of volunteers.
“It was wonderful and so much fun,” said Motley, who accompanied the Westfield residents. “I wish we had space to do it at our housing.”
Residents of Cranford and Westfield senior housing echoed those sentiments.
“I like the way they put everything together, accessorizing really makes a difference,” said Sharon Costello, who attended the fashion show both years. Originally from Roselle, Costello now lives at Cranford housing. She sat in the front row with friend and fellow resident Catherine Cinquemani, formerly of Freehold. “I enjoyed the models, what they chose to wear, they have very good taste,” Cinquemani said.
“We enjoyed it,” said Loretta Wittik, a resident of Westfield Senior Housing. “It was lovely.”
Costello added that she wished the fashion show had run longer because she enjoyed the stories that models made up about where they were headed in their thrift store fashion finds. She was referring to the script, which at times was humorous and relatable. One model was dressed for taking a friend to the doctor, for example, while another was headed to the zoo and still another was going to keep her boots on for a dinner out if her feet weren’t killing her from an earlier museum visit with girlfriends.
A nonprofit organization, WSL operates a Thrift Store and Consignment Shop at 114 Elmer Street in Westfield. Proceeds from the shops are distributed via grants to other nonprofits in Union County.
Now in its 87th year, WSL has awarded more than $2.8 million in grants over the decades. To learn more about the organization, visit the WSL website.