What is the perfect way to spend a “ladies day out” in Colorado Springs? For 210 women from around the city, it’s a combination of dining, shopping and helping a worthwhile charity.

On May 11, the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary (SAWA) presented a fashion show, luncheon, boutique, and auction in the Heritage Ballroom at the Antlers Hotel.

Salvation Army Lt. Col. Shawn Posillico said SAWA is the “hands and heart of our army. They help raise funds and support the projects for our kid’s programs.”

The after-school program is a supervised and safe environment where children get help with homework and enjoy physical activity and character-building programs. Summer day camp and week-long summer camps in Estes Park feature opportunities to enjoy nature along with educational activities. Additional services include assisting families in transitioning from homelessness to stability, back-to-school shopping sprees, and furnishing family apartments.

“Our mission is to raise funds to help pay for the children’s programs,” said event chair Julia McCollum. She said she encourages women to volunteer, and added that volunteers are always needed for fundraising and help meeting clients’ basic needs: food and stable housing.

This is the second year for the event, and the goal was to raise around $20,000. The ballroom was filled with tastefully decorated tables offering silent purse and jewelry auctions, a display of live auction items, and a boutique of gently-used, fashionable accessories. The boutique was definitely a hit with shoppers. Bargain prices were offered on jewelry, purses, scarves, and gift bags filled with a variety of small items like coffee mugs, stationary and games. Cashiers stayed busy as purchasers paid for their treasures.

The silent auction displayed tables full of stylish purses, small luggage items and chic jewelry. Goods had either been donated or purchased by the event committee from discount and outlet stores. Competitive bidding ensued and some of the more popular items included a hummingbird purse, red faux alligator overnight bag and child’s kitty-face backpack.

As the women shopped, they enjoyed punch and a variety of tasty appetizers. Soon it was time for a lunch of mixed green salad, chicken breasts in herbed cream sauce, mashed potatoes, squash medley, and panna cotta with raspberry coulis and mixed berries.

Shortly after lunch, the fashion show swung into action. SAWA members were assisted by Lori Felton, selling professional at Macy’s, who helped them choose two comfortable and fashionable outfits, complete with contemporary accessories. Styles ranged from junior outfits modeled by teens Jordan McCollum and Shelby Cornett, to classy clothes for seniors, and everything in between.

After a brief break, the live auction filled the room with energetic bidding on items including jewelry, designer bags, Broadmoor golf packages, luxury lodging in both the U.S. and Italy, and even a beauty class for 10.

In October, SAWA will host its second fundraiser of the year, an indoor garage sale and chicken dinner. For more information, go to coloradosprings.salvationarmy.org.

Load comments