Fashionable fun: Belmont Village Oak Park show benefits Alzheimer’s Association

The residents, along with some pets, of Belmont Village in Oak Park took to the runway Thursday afternoon to strut their stuff for a worthy cause.

During its third annual fashion show fundraiser, Belmont Village staff, residents and family members again raised money for the Alzheimer’s Association. Belmont Village is a senior living facility on Madison Street in Oak Park.

The event was created to give residents in the third floor Neighborhood Program, which is designed for seniors with advanced memory care needs, the opportunity to participate in a fun, engaging way to help the community with fundraising efforts.

“It started out on the third floor, so it was just one area, but that area became too small,” said enrichment leader Lavada Evans. “This is our first year on the first floor. We have a lot more space to decorate and a lot more room. If family members wanted to come, we have the space for them to sit together.”

Since its beginning, the fashion show has more than doubled in size, and it now includes the entire Belmont Village community.

“I have a family member that died from Alzheimer’s, so I wanted to participate because of that,” resident Josette Faingold said. “Also, it’s a lot of fun.”

In all, 12 residents and three dogs dressed up and took to the runway for the fashion show.

“I like to participate in anything, particularly here,” resident Keith Strandberg said. “Both of my parents were very ill toward the end of their lives, so it’s nice to honor them.”

On the day of the show, residents, staff and family members purchased tickets as a way to “vote” for their favorite runway models. Last year, the fundraiser raised more than $1,200. Though employees were still calculating the total amount raised this year, they were already looking forward to the 2018 show.

“Next year is going to be larger than life,” Evans said.

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