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November 5, 2013

Main Street fundraiser to feature fashion, feast|

By Denise Richardson Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — Food, fashion and fun are on the menu of a student-organized fundraiser in downtown Oneonta on Friday.

Fashion for Food at the Oneonta Elks Club will feature dozens of students modeling clothes from Transitions Boutique and some of their own creations, accessories from Edward Teleky Jeweler and cosmetics by Arbonne International.

Students at the State University College at Oneonta are organizing the dinner event, which will raise money for St. Mary’s Food Pantry in Oneonta.

Doors at the Elks Club on Chestnut Street will open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6 p.m., with the models starting the fashion show at about 6:45 pm.

“It’s going to be a good time,” Oscar Oberkircher, food service and restaurant administration program director, said Monday.

The dinner, which costs $10, includes penne ala vodka with chicken, spaghetti with meat sauce and farfalle pasta with a vegetarian pomodoro sauce, plus a garlic cheese bread, house salad and yellow or chocolate cake, he said.

This year, three SUNY Oneonta students in his event planning course are arranging Fashion for Food. The students are Jorie Cohen and Jessica Monteiro and Kacie Evans.

“We want a big success,” Evans, 20, a SUNY Oneonta junior from Washingtonville, said. However, they also are focusing on establishing the event to be offered annually, according to Evans, who said “giving back” to the community is important.

Fashion for Food originated in 2012 through a SUNY Oneonta consumer resource management course taught by Starr Hobb. The first Food for Fashion raised between $800 and $1,000, officials said.

Friday’s show is the second time students are organizing the event, and the goal is to raise $2,300 to $2,500, which is the cost of running the pantry for one month, officials said.

Janice Hinkley, outreach coordinator at St. Mary’s Church, said she was impressed with the initiative, energy and professionalism of the three students organizing Fashion for Food.

“I think it’s great,” Hinkley said. “Something like a food pantry needs to be a community effort.”

Financial support is needed, Hinkley said. On Monday, 15 families visited the pantry, she said, and in October, the pantry supplied food to 244 households. The pantry received a $8,1000 state grant this year, down by $5,000 from last year, she said, and that funding source already is depleted.

Oberkircher said the event offers opportunities for students, businesses and the community to cooperate on a mutually beneficial project. Students gain experience organizing and presenting an event, businesses that sponsor a model for $25 gain some publicity, he said, and the community receives support for a food bank.

Oberkircher said that 20 businesses had signed up to sponsor a model and about 70 tickets of the 180 dinner tickets had been sold as of Monday. Students are looking to register another 20 business sponsors, he said.

Oberkircher said tickets are available at Transitions Boutique, Edward Teleky Jeweler, or by calling him at 436-2071 or sending him an email at

About 55 or 60 students will be involved in Friday’s event as models, cooks, servers or fulfilling other duties, he said. Students in the upper level event-management course students have been working on various projects.

“We have them put on real events for real organizations with real goals,” he said. “It’s just a positive event all the way around.”