The script, music, lights and runway are prepared well in advance.Then it’s showtime. High school students introduce each of the younger girls with highlights of the time period and trends of the different fashions. “Oohs” and “awws” echo from the audience as the girls, ages 4 to 13, smile as they saunter the runway.
Palm Beach County’s only American Girl Fashion Show will be held for the fourth time at the Boca Raton Marriott on Saturday. The annual event raises money for children’s education programs provided by the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County.
“It is so fun for these girls to walk the runway and to pose for pictures with the dolls and audience members,” said event co-chair Nancy Vera. “In addition to this experience, the girls become ambassadors for the Literacy Coalition – they understand the importance of reading and that they are helping to raise funds so that others can learn to read.”
More than 120 girls from Palm Beach County will don American Girl outfits and hit the runway for three American Girl Fashion shows at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. The young models provide an entertaining and educational look at how generations of American Girls have used clothing to express their own unique style and personality.
Kimberly and Aaron Anglemyer of Boca Raton are the parents of Hannah Anglemyer, 8. Her mom said Hannah is excited to dress as Lea Clark, the 2016 Girl of the Year. She has her own Lea American Girl doll and loves to read the Lea Clark book that comes with the doll, so she knows Lea’s story.
Hannah’s 4-year-old sister, Kathryn is excited to watch the fashion show in the audience with mom and dad, said Kimberly Anglemyer.
“My daughter loves American Girl dolls and she loves to read,” Kimberly Anglemyer said. “I love that this event promotes literacy and teaches young girls about American history through the stories of the different historical dolls and the time periods that they represent. It also helps develop her self-confidence and poise by being on the runway in front of an audience of people.”
Hannah and many of the other models participate in a read-a-thon to help them raise some of their own money to be donated to The Literacy Coalition.
“It is very exciting to help raise money for the Literacy Coalition to benefit their children’s programming,” Kimberly Anglemyer said. “I hope that Hannah develops an interest in helping others and in volunteering as she gets older. She loves to read and she understands that she is opening the door to other children her own age to improve their reading skills through the Literacy Coalition’s programs.”
The fourth annual American Girl Fashion Show has grown since its first year. Vera and fellow co-chair Maggie Dickenson expect to exceed last year’s fundraising total of $50,000.
Vera and Dickenson have a volunteer committee of more than 40 women who give countless hours fundraising, planning and executing the event.
Some sponsors and partners who have provided support are Dr. Moroco Orthodontics, Palm Beach Pediatric Dentistry, Whole Health Private Family Practice and Urgent Care and RC Muir Management.
For Vera, the highlight of the event is “seeing the enjoyment on each girls’ face as they walk the runway, and knowing that we are raising money for such a great cause.”
All fashion show tickets include: A two-hour American Girl Fashion Show, light beverages and refreshments at intermission, American Girl Fashion Show souvenir for each child, photo opportunity, door prizes, opportunity to purchase raffle tickets, and access to Marketplace, which includes Doll Hair Salon and Pop-up Barnes & Noble Bookstore.
By providing services to more than 27,000 adults, children and families each year, the Literacy Coalition’s goal is for every child and every adult in Palm Beach County to be able to read.