From the black stretch limousine and red carpet marking the entryway to Clive Daniel Home, event hosts, in Naples, there was no mistaking that the 200 arriving guests were in for a night of Hollywood-flavored glamour. Naturally, roaming paparazzi snapped photos of partygoers attired in chic black and/or white the evening long.
Wednesday, March 28, proved a star-spangled winner for Dress for Success Southwest Florida, the Lee and Collier counties affiliate of the 118 Dress for Success operations in seven countries located around the globe.
Applicants who comply with Dress for Success provisos are supplied with professional attire and a network of support as well as career development tools that enable them to thrive in work and in life.
Eight event celebrities, identified by golden star name tags and carrying small white rose bouquets, were centers of attention wherever they appeared throughout the expansive home furnishings showrooms. All were happy to chat about how the program had changed their lives.
Guests speakers were Joi Gordon, first board president and now Dress for Success Worldwide CEO, and Donna Noce-Colaco, president of White House Black Market, founding sponsors and supportive retailers who operate under parent company Chico's.
Southwest Florida affiliate Executive Director Barbara Dell explained that "Even before we opened our doors in 2010, Joi and Donna were the two women most responsible for making the dream of Dress for Success Southwest Florida become a reality."
There was little time for idling without contributing financially. An active bar serving up cocktails and four hors d'oeuvres stations included Norman Love, SMH Catering, Picco Bello and Matthews and Gardner — and all of them were efficiently located near silent auction displays and the apparel racks of Shelley's Casual Elegance, a Bonita Springs fashion retailer.
DJ Robert McDonald's tunes enlivened the action even more as did fine wines including South African selections offered by the host Clive Lubner family who originated there.
Jessica Schneider, Clive Daniel Home vice president of marketing, served as event coordinator in collaboration with Dress for Success staff and volunteers.
Company principal Clive Lubner and his son, Daniel, describe their approach as "soft-sell and more experiential. We certainly do step outside the marketing box in hosting a variety of in-store fundraisers."
Fundraiser spokeswoman Barbara Dell said she anticipates that the net goal of $20,000 — including income from tickets purchased at $60 per person ($100 for VIPS), raffle tickets, silent auction sales and sponsorship contributions — will be reached.