Showing their style

Eight years ago, after a disappointing first year of the Senior Health Fair, organizer Esther Hildebrand took someone's suggestion to add an afternoon fashion show. Since then, the fashion show has been the highlight of the fair.

"The models were beautiful and the clothes were beautiful," said Barbara Hitchcock who attended the health fair at Carson Valley Inn on Wednesday. "They fit each model's personality."

Wednesday's fashion show went smoothly, according to Hildebrand, who was also the mistress of ceremonies. This year they stuck with just one clothing store, Sidestreet Boutique of South Lake Tahoe, instead of the three they had last year, mainly to make it a little easier on the organizers. Hildebrand said she and the models drove over the hill in two vans one afternoon, and each model got to pick out their own outfit. This year there were no wardrobe changes, which kept the show flowing.

Hildebrand's husband Ray and granddaughter Paige, 8, were involved as models as well. Ray, dressed in a black tuxedo, escorted each model to the stage.

The young girls who were modeling seemed to get a kick out of showing off their fashions.

"They have a good assortment of clothing for men, women and children, too," said Hildebrand. "Next year we're going to incorporate more men."

From meeting the ladies for lunch, to going out on the town, seniors had a wide variety of clothing to choose from, as well as moms and daughters.

"We had mothers and daughters and grandmothers and granddaughters. It was kind of nice to see," said Hildebrand.

June Bachman modeled a fancy gray-colored two-piece outfit that Hildebrand said was fit to wear on an cruise. As Bachman walked by, she confirmed that she really is going on an Alaskan cruise this year.

Approximately 450 people attended the health fair this year, about the same amount as last year, according to Young at Heart president Paul Lockwood.

Sylvia Terzich of Gardnerville said she has attended the health fair the last two years and tries not to miss the fashion show.

"I didn't want to miss this," said Terzich. "There are lots of good services represented and it's fun, too. It's kind of festive, they make it fun and interesting and you can learn a lot. And they have a raffle so you have a chance to win something."

The audience strolled between the fashion show and the 50 or so booths offering information, pens and other freebies to visitors.

Booths were operated by businesses and organizations throughout Carson Valley, representing health care providers and professionals, residential care facilities, Douglas County senior services and financial groups. Blood pressure checks and massage therapy were available at no charge at certain times during the day. Entertainment was provided by singer Nancy Galt, Ms. Idaho Senior America 2004.

-- Jo Rafferty can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 210.


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