Party With a Purpose- Annual Fashion Touchdown
Annual Fashion Touchdown
Party with a Purpose
Fashion meets football and philanthropy for the sixth annual Fashion Touchdown runway show in Philadelphia. Hundreds of people packed the Fillmore Philadelphia, Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, for one of the city’s largest star-studded affairs hosted by Fox- 29’s “Good Day” show anchors, Alex Holley and Mike Jerrick.
Philadelphia Eagles players and their significant others ripped the runway to help raise awareness and funds for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region (BBS Independence).
For the first time since its inception, the Philadelphia Eagles organization was an official event partner, providing a one of a kind Eagles party experience with performances by the Eagles Cheerleaders, the Philadelphia Eagles Pep Band, and their team mascot Swoop.
Guests enjoyed signature Tito’s handmade vodka cocktails, player meet-and-greet opportunities, and the chance to bid on players’ signed jerseys during a live auction.
The exciting night of football and fashion was presented by Marrone Law Firm.
“I hold a special place in my heart for Big Brothers Big Sisters and the incredibly impactful and important work they do for so many young people. I hope that my involvement with this event for the last three years inspires others to get involved to make a difference,” said Joseph M. Marrone, Esquire, founder of Marrone Law Firm, LLC, and governing board member of BBBS Independence.
“In college I participated in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program heavily. So when they reached out and asked me to take part in this years’ Fashion Touchdown it was no problem. I worked with the organization before and over the last few years. It felt good to be out there on the runway,” said Vinny Curry, Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End.
Eagles’ Cornerback Jalen Mills also expressed how passionate he is about youth mentorship and supporting inner city children.
“It’s a great feeling being here tonight and supporting children. Showing up [for even] a little bit can go a long way,” said Mills.
Mills, affectionately known as the ‘Green Goblin’, have a foundation which focuses on the vital role of mentorship, teamwork, and brotherhood as well. “We help out inner city youth. Being in a position to give back is very rewarding,” he shared.
Together, these community- conscious athletes and organizations lent their voice along with their celebrity and influence to raise awareness and crucial funds needed to support BBBS Independence’s mission to develop and provide one- on-one mentoring.
What once started as a modest fashion fundraiser at the Boyd’s department store in Philadelphia grew into a now highly anticipated soìree with a far-reaching audience.
“We love to make our events fun,” said Lloyd Freeman, Chairman of the Board BBBS Independence. “It’s ok to party for a cause. We want you to come out and have a good time,” he adds.
“The real purpose is to raise money and awareness for BBBS Independence to help the organization sustain and chip away at our waiting list,” Freeman explains.
According to Freeman there are 1,500 kids who are on the waiting list and BBBS Independence is trying desperately to get them all off the list and matched with a mentor.
New to the program this year, four BBBS Independence mentoring matches strutted the runway in addition to the stars.
“At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we build relationships that ignite the power and promise of our youth. We walk with our youth, instead of walking away, and we have proven for over 100 years that we improve educational success, self-confidence, future aspirations, and avoidance of risky behaviors. We provide opportunities that break generational cycles of poverty,” said Marcus Allen, CEO of BBBS Independence.
Samuel C. Evans, an educator and long-term mentee of Allens’ shared his personal story about the way mentorship ultimately changed his life for the better.
“I was 15 when I was coming home from Vision Quest Boot Camp and about to enter a re-entry program in Philadelphia when I met Marcus,” said Evans, who is now 37.
“Marcus has been like a surrogate dad to me. A positive role model. Someone I could look up to and aspire to be like,” he continues. “He has played a pivotal part during each transition in my life, from getting my first job to graduating from college, and even attending my wedding. I have a Iife-long mentor and friend who has had a guiding presence and always gives great advice. It’s important that folks know how impacting and important mentorship can be,” he concludes.
Written by Afea Tucker, Posh Ink Media
Photos by Afea Tucker , Posh Ink Media