Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fashionistas don good causes

Fashion and trunk show to be held for Special Olympics


By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer

Founding c-chair of the Special Olympics 2009 World Winter Games Pirie Grossman and Kathy Crosson, owner of Panache, in Sun Valley are co-hosting a benefit luncheon. Photo by Dana DuGan

When Allen & Co., their guests, families and a bunch of media types descend on the valley for four days of nonstop fun and dealmaking, there are bonuses for the community. In particular, many of the folks who come to Sun Valley each year for the annual conference have grown to love the area. Many others give back to the community in charitable ways.

The legendary fashion designer Diane Von Fürstenberg is one of those people. With her husband, media tycoon Barry Diller, she has been coming for several years to the conference. Each year, she hosts a charitable trunk show at Panache, the boutique in the Sun Valley village. This year in conjunction with that trunk show for her fall collection, "Foreign Affair," there will be a luncheon and casual fashion show at a private home in Ketchum. Both events will benefit the Special Olympics 2009 World Winter Games.

Panache owner Kathy Crosson, and Sun Valley resident Pirie Grossman, who with her husband Jim, is a founding co-chair of the World Winter Games, planned the dual benefits.

"We decided to do more this year than just a trunk show," Crosson said. "I decided to spread it out a little. And we wanted to do something for Special Olympics so we added the luncheon. It's wonderful that Diane Von Fürstenberg is lending her name and giving back."

Grossman and Crosson said Fürstenberg's involvement and willingness to support causes here is impressive. Last year a portion of the trunk show's proceeds were donated to the American Cancer Society's Camp Rainbow Gold.

"I am very happy that the proceeds of the luncheon and (a portion) of the sales of DVF at Panache will go to the Special Olympics," Von Fürstenberg said. "I have always been so impressed by that organization, because it is about courage, hope and that everything is possible. When you see the smiles of the participants, you understand it all."

Catered by Judith McQueen, the luncheon will feature an informal fashion show in Rebecca Neeley's gardens. The flowers will be by Taylor Sturges. Mike Murphy will act as the emcee and there will be a small silent auction. Lori Otter, Idaho's first lady, is scheduled to attend. Special Olympian Jessica Crook of Indiana, will speak at the luncheon. As the representative of North America, she is one of just 12 Global Messengers who travel around the world speaking on behalf of the Special Olympics.

The 2009 World Winter Games will be held in Idaho from Feb. 7 through 13. Of the seven winter events, two—snowshoe and cross-country—will be hosted in Sun Valley.

"All 4,500 athletes—when they land, they are our responsibility," Grossman said. "It's the best public relations; that the U.S. is perceived as giving. Every dime donated goes directly to the athletes to help their experience be the best ever. There's not a lot of pomp and circumstance. It's about the celebration of our commonalties and isn't that what the world needs right now?"

Tickets to the luncheon may still be available. Call Evonne Karie, 720-2099.




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