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Fashion show supports mental health services
Stuart News - 6/18/2018
The New Horizons fashion show -- Fashion Unmasked -- drew a fashion-conscious crowd to Quail Valley River Club on a recent rainy Monday, raising awareness about mental illness and money for mental health services in Indian River County.
The show was presented by Jodi Harvey and Gene Atkinson, and featured evening attire by Sabre Mochachino, a Treasure Coast-based fashion designer.
Guests were treated to music by chanteuse Dana Ashton, a dance by Maddie McIntosh and Payton Duke, and a heartfelt presentation by Shotsi Lajoie, a Vero Beach artist and a licensed mental health counselor who shared her challenges growing up with mental illness in the home.
But the real stars of the night were 15 local women who dazzled the crowd with their inner and outer beauty as they modeled a fabulous collection of dresses and gowns.
Models included Diane Anthony, Susan Byerley, Grace Carlon, Melanie Coppola, Lewana Dupree, Sammy Fashona, Jan Fleisher, Cindy Goetz, Laura Guttridge, Diamond Litty, Stacey Miller, Alexandra Pavarini, Sana Shareef, Patty Snodgrass, and Tracey Zudans.
Lajoie joined artists Anita Prentice, Tim Sanchez, Carol Ludwig, and Lalita Janke in making masks for the event, representing the facades people often hide behind to disguise mental health issues due to stigma.
"By bringing mental health and substance use issues into a public dialogue, we help reduce stigma," said John B. Romano, CEO of New Horizons. "We want to celebrate mental health and help people find recovery, and you can't do that if people are too embarrassed to seek treatment for their disease."
Established in 1958, New Horizons, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the most comprehensive mental health agency in the region, with eight offices in four counties serving 14,000 children and adults annually, regardless of their ability to pay. In fact, more than half of New Horizons clients have no source of income or insurance, yet no one is turned away due to lack of financial resources.
Sponsors of the event included William Kelley (Platinum), Dr. Hagood of The Art of Dentistry (Silver), and Charles Sullivan Jr., Girard Equipment, Park Place Salon, and Classic Car Wash (Bronze).
To learn more, visit www.nhtcinc.org or call 772-672-8333.