More than 150 people participated in a live runway auction and fashion show “For Love and Fashion” to raise funds for Umbrella, our local domestic violence prevention and advocacy program. The event brought in $3,191 and after all expenses are paid Umbrella will receive over $2,200. The event was sponsored and organized by Tara Lynn Bridal.

Scheduled in October; Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the evening started off with a cocktail hour catered by Willy’s Restaurant in East Burke. Rep. Michelle Fay, the Executive Director of Umbrella, was the guest speaker for the evening. Over 50 models participated in the fashion show representing 17 local designers, shops and organizations.

Love and Fashion Benefit for Domestic Violence Awareness

Tara Lynn’s students Lunamay, Abby, Meredith, Olivia and Jade. They made and printer their own garments for the show expressing what love means to them personally.

Several groups including the students at Tara Lynn Studio, The Fiberista’s of St. Johnsbury, NEK Faith and Action, Kingdom Child Care Connection and Umbrella handmade garments for the show that expressed what love means to them. Thea Storez auctioned off a skirt that captured the silhouettes of her daughter and her holding hands, while Lily Fay made a t-shirt with an applique lock over the wearer’s heart and inside the keyhole was a little heart paired with a single key strewn on the models necklace.

Some other fashion show participants included  H.O.P.E. , Olivia Vaughn Hern, The Village Sport Shop,  Child Haven International, Edie LangdellReady Ruthie by Beth Kaldor, Sam Talbot-KellyThe Sewing StudioElizabeth’s Large Size Fashions and Accessories, Earth Bitch and Tara Lynn Bridal.

“We are all in this together”, stated Wendy Shields Hilliard, the MC for the evening. Just before the auction began a small group took to the stage for a flash mob. They stepped to the beat of “Break the Chain” a song written to raise awareness around the world about the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On October 19, women and children took to the stage for the second time at Lyndon State College to strike, dance, and RISE again.


Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Models and guests flash mob the crowd to the song “Break the Chain” referring
to ending the chain of domestic violence in our community.


The live runway auction brought in a significant increase in donations, over $1000 was bid. Some items for auction include fashion and design books donated from Green Mountain Books in Lyndonville, hand engraved necklaces by Michelle Fay Designs, an Earth Bitch Jacket, several wedding dresses from the Sewing Studio, a camo suit from the Village Sport Shop, hand knit toddler dresses by Renee Kelly and many other cool designer pieces.

Tara Lynn from Tara Lynn bridal was pleased with the event. “Everything at auction sold and we brought in three times what I’d hoped to raise! If we were to change anything for next year we will be more organized for guests picking up and paying for their items and we will come up with a meal that all can afford and enjoy together. But all in all the night was a huge success!”

Umbrella wanted to sincerely thank everyone that participated and joined the fun. “Generally the funds we raise outside of grants go toward the myriad expenses that aren’t covered by regular channels. So for example, we have a wish list for the shelter that we can’t cover from our grants. We need to raise about $90,000 from the community each year to cover our expenses and put a little away in a rainy day fund. “For Love and Fashion” put a nice dent in that!!!

The non-for profit group services victims of domestic and sexual violence in Caledonia, Essex and Orleans County. They are one of 15 sister agency’s in Vermont that provide 24 hour on call hot line advocates, shelters, safety planning,  legal advice, child care, supervised visitations, education programs and more. To learn more about Umbrella call 748-8645 in St. Johnsbury or 334-0148 in Newport or visit their website at

How you can help break the chain of Domestic Violence:

1. Consider donating your used cell phone to Hopeline. Hopeline provides the donated cell phones to organizations which help victims of domestic violence. Hopeline also donates grants to these organizations.

2. Volunteer as an advocate for a domestic violence hotline near you. Visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline 

3. 5 ways you can support Umbrella are listed here:

4. 101 Great Sources for Domestic Violence Prevention


Here are some photos from “For Love and Fashion” October 19, 2013

Umbrella and Domestic Violence Awareness

Renee Kelly Associate Director of Umbrella knit two really cute toddler rompers for the auction.


For Love & Fashion Benefit Collage

Clockwise from top left: For Love & Fashion slide; Elizabeth’s Large Size Fashions; Tara Lynn Bridal; Community supporters; Edie Langdell