ST. PETERSBURG – The Childs Park YMCA was turned into a winter wonderland fashion show complete with a runway, celebrities and proud parents watching their little ones strut their stuff in the latest “kiddie kouture.”
The Dec. 10 fashion show served as a finale to the 2015 Fashion, Etiquette, & Health Boot Camp put on by Audrey “Pat” McGhee, CEO of APM Images, Inc.
Attendees were asked to donate a toy that went to the YMCA Neighbor to Neighbor Christmas Program, where 330 families received a live Christmas tree, a $50 Publix gift card and were able to handpick five brand new toys.
St. Pete celebrity Taylor Barnes, home from Idyllwild Arts Academy in California, showed why she won a scholarship to this internationally acclaimed residential arts high school. After graduation, she hopes to matriculate into Juilliard.
Emcee for the evening was celebrity award-winning photography and television talk show host Ricc Rollins, who is a Tampa native. This best-selling author and motivational speaker’s work can been seen on numerous CD, magazine and book covers.
Rollins paid tribute to the recently passed Marque “Tate” Lynche Jr., a St. Pete-bred singer and actor who starred on “The All New Mickey Mouse Club,” Broadway and even made it to the semifinals of “American Idol.”
He said that Lynche’s message was that every young person deserves to dream, and dedicated the fashion show to him. Rollins also said that when Lynche’s mother spotted talent in her children, she put them in every program she could to make sure they had opportunities.
“Aren’t we grateful for Audrey “Pat” McGhee who makes sure that our young people have something to focus on,” Rollins asked the crowd.
The fashion show was setup like a play with four scenes: “Christmas Chic,” “Wonderland Fashionistas,” “Snow Flakes in the Mist” and “Hip Hop Christmas.” In each scene, the mini models walked the catwalk in fashions that can all be found at Macy’s.
McGhee honored a few people who made the boot camp a success such as Terri Lipsey Scott from the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, who donated her time and the museum to work with the girls on proper table etiquette and life coach Brandi Winans who worked with the youth with building an image and branding themselves.
She also honored professional photographer Jerrod Douse, who treated the kids to a professional fashion shoot and taught them how to operate a camera and Rollins for helping her with anything that was needed from creating a logo to speaking to the youth.