ELLSWORTH — The “In Grand Style” Fashion Show last week drew more than 200 people and boosted funds raised so far to $29,000 for restoration of the landmark theater’s Art Deco marquee. The benefit luncheon and runway show were held at the Holiday Inn. Tickets sold out and proceeds surpassed all expectations.
Emceed by WLBZ TV weatherman Steve McKay, the seventh annual fashion show kicked off with the luncheon at which McKay donned his auctioneer’s hat and offered an array of items for raffle and live auction, garnering even more donations and seed money for The Grand’s marquee restoration project.
In addition, Fashion Show Committee Chairman Jane Bradley, speaking on behalf of committee members and The Grand staff and volunteers, expressed her profound gratitude to sponsors and the community for their generosity, and to the 12 area merchants and fashion models for their donations of time and effort during the busy summer season.
Models, including youngsters ages 1 to 16, took to the runway about 1:30 p.m., with musical accompaniment by Karen Dickes and the assistance of Charles Alexander and Tim McCormick as escorts.
The Grand’s board president, Charles Alexander, looking natty in white linen, spoke about the marquee restoration process. The project involves restoring the 1938 theater’s façade including the marquee and tower made of rare, deeply luminous Vitrolite glass. He explained that efforts are under way to place The Grand on The National Register of Historic Places and The Maine Historic Register, enhancing its eligibility for matching grants for the project from varied sources. He expects the whole project to take between one and two years, depending on funding, availability of resources.
Alexander also reported that The Grand’s improved financial status will make it possible to devote all proceeds from this year’s fashion show to the restoration project, unlike years past. Next year’s fashion show, to be held Aug. 13, will undoubtedly benefit the same project again.
Further donations are welcome for the restoration project and can be sent to The Grand, 165 Main St., Ellsworth, 04605, or by calling the box office, 667-9500.