At Maryville annual benefit, hope, and fashion, will spring eternal
Fashion designer Wes Gordon and owner of Neapolitan Collection Kelly Golden. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
SHOWER OF HOPE
WHEN: Noon May 10
WHERE: Sunset Ridge Country Club, 2100 Sunset Ridge Road in Northfield
EVENT: Fashion designer Wes Gordon shows both his spring and fall 2012 lines
TICKETS: Are $85 and can be purchased online at maryvilleacademy.org
Updated: June 4, 2012 10:58AM
Kelly Golden is known for her incredible taste and her refined temple to fashion, Winnetka’s high-end boutique neapolitan collection.
But she’s also known for her unwavering support of the Maryville Crisis Nursery — and hosts the annual Shower of Hope luncheon and fashion show to raise awareness and secure baby gifts and donations for the organization.
The May 10 cocktail luncheon begins at noon at Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield. Tickets are $85 and can be purchased online at maryvilleacademy.org.
For Golden, it’s about the cause. And it’s in her blood. Since 2005, she’s been working with Friends of the Crisis Nursery to raise money to fund the facility, which provides emergency child care for families facing medical emergencies, job loss or homelessness.
“My family has been invoved with Maryville for years because of my dad — even as kids,” Golden said. “But in 2004 when Sister Cathy [Sister Catherine Ryan, executive director of the crisis nursery] came on board I was so impressed — I’m sure she’s a living saint, and she’s one of my favorite people.”
Designer Wes Gordon travels a long way for the lunch date. Besides showing both his spring and fall 2012 collections, he’s returning for a second year to support the charity.
“The crisis nursery is the first in the Chicagoland area,” Golden said. “The concept is really great for kids. When children are exposed to abuse and violence, it’s hard to change the cycle. Maybe we’re able to help before anything happens.”
Since supporting Maryville was always a family affair, it was only natural for Golden to want to contribute using her fashion sense.
Her sister, Nancy Ross of Winnekta, suggested a North Shore luncheon, as it’s sometimes difficult to manage the family logistics and head downtown.
Add a fashion show with a fashion designer’s personal appearance to the program and the ladies will come.
And they keep coming. Since the first luncheon in 2005, Golden and her donors not only opened the crisis nursery, but they keep it painted, landscaped and swaddled in hand-sewn items.
“We couldn’t keep the doors open without Kelly and her friends,” said Ryan. “We don’t charge for our services, and Kelly provides our primary source of donations and a cadre of volunteers and supporters.”
The facililty requires more than $1 million dollars a year to operate, and the organization can always use more diapers — so the invitation asks guests to bring baby gifts the nursery can use.
“ It’s not that exciting,” Golden said, “but [diapers] are expensive and always necessary. I also know that they always need formula and blankets.”
Don’t forget books.
“All children enjoy being read to — so each child takes a book home,” Ryan said. “And we provide additional clothing for children from birth to 6 years old.”
It may be a charity event, but it always comes back to the clothes.
“We feature different designers every year — Prada, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino,” Golden said.
Last year Golden asked up-and-coming designer Wes Gordon to make an appearance at the event.
“He flew out for the luncheon, met Sister Cathy, fell in love with the organization [so] that when I asked him to come back this year, he didn’t hesitate,” Golden said.
Lunch guests were so taken with Gordon that he almost missed his flight home.
“Women were ogling his clothes and all wanted to have their picture taken with him,” Golden said.
While fashion and baby gifts are the main act, it’s raising awareness of the organization that keeps Golden motivated.
One story that hit home for her was that of a mother who was told she had a brain tumor and needed surgery that day — and she had no place to take her child.
“We all have family, friends and neighbors to help us in a crisis,” Golden said. “I can’t even imagine that — not knowing a safe, warm environment for a child.”
The nursery also provides for families who are having domestic problems and need to remove the children from the situation.
But it’s really mothers helping mothers.
“Because we are mothers ourselves, women on the North Shore are eager to get involved and are really excited to know they’re making such a difference,” Golden said.