Laura Gary and Lori Hill were passionate about finding opportunities for the Chi Omega alums to be more involved in giving back to the community, and Fashion for a Passion was a direct result of that desire. “I knew we had some amazing women who had so much to offer, but we needed a purpose,” Laura said. Little did they know that their purpose would take root and grow to be a successful event benefitting hundreds of children with hearing loss every year.
During the first few years, the event was held in personal homes with a fashion show and donated wine until Jane Webb offered to host the event at her beautiful store, CK & Company. Laura and Lori believe that this change in venue elevated the visibility of the event making it a big player among other community fundraisers in Oklahoma City.
Lori and Laura both believe that the biggest draw of the event is the cause – Hearts for Hearing. “Anyone who has been introduced to what Hearts for Hearing does for individuals and their families can’t help but fall in love,” Laura said. “We’ve had many amazing women who have since become active and really share the bulk of our success.”
After 12 years, Fashion for a Passion has raised over $1 million in support of Hearts for Hearing. Each year the event is led by chairs and a committee of women from the Oklahoma City Chi Omega Alumnae Association and hosted at CK & Company in Nichols Hills Plaza. The event hosts close to 200 guests with an incredible fashion show, wine, hors d’oeuvres, and shopping! The proceeds from the event provide audiology and specialized speech therapy services that together help a child who is deaf or hard of hearing learn to listen and talk.
“Laura and I have been thrilled that the event did not die after that first year. We are so proud of the many hard-working Chi Omega alums and actives who have joined in to carry on the event and the cause,” said Lori.
Joanna Smith, CEO, said, “I’ll never forget the very first conversation I had with Laura Gary about the possibility of Chi Omega alumni hosting a fundraiser for HFH. Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine how this partnership would grow over time. We were excited that they were willing to fundraise on our behalf, but the passion of those first few years melded into something truly miraculous. Our gratitude cannot be expressed in words.”
Hearts for Hearing would not be where we are today without the wonderful partnership with Chi Omega and Fashion for a Passion. Kris Hopper, Chief of External Affairs, said, “The women of Chi Omega have surpassed all of our expectations, and I am humbled by each woman’s willingness to step in and support a cause that is close to my heart.”