New Community made a big splash at the 26th Annual Senior Citizens’ Fashion Show and Cultural Extravaganza—for more reasons than just making a fabulous fashion statement.
Leaders and residents of New Community held prominent roles at the citywide event, from receiving special honors to playing parts both on and off the runway.
This year’s festivities culminated with the presentation of the 2015 Phil Orlando Award to Madge Wilson, NCC board member and director of outreach, for performing “extraordinary services on behalf of our Newark Senior Citizens.”
Also honored was New Community Associates resident Elnora Haynes. Haynes,
an active member of New Community who serves as a social services aide in her building, was one of three Senior Fashion Show Executive Committee honorees who received recognition.
Held at the Best Western Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, the Senior Fashion Show drew hundreds of chic ladies and dapper gentleman for an afternoon of enjoying the latest fashion trends from the runway, musical performances, prize giveaways and a luncheon. On the other side of the runway, NCC Director of Mission Frances Teabout served as a judge for the fashion show, scoring each model based on apparel and personality.
Large swaths of the room were awash in various shades of purple, which served as this year’s color theme. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, spotted wearing a violet tie, greeted New Community seniors and paused to take photos every few steps as he made rounds.
The fashion show allows the community to honor and celebrate its seniors, according to Council President Mildred Crump. “This is an event that all of us look forward to each year; an event in which we honor the most venerable of our community. Today’s event indicates another year of our pledge…believing in Newark!” Crump said.
Haynes, who has served as a member of the Senior Fashion Show committee since 1998, gave credit to the Lord upon being presented by Crump with her award, but also lauded Baraka for pulling together spiritual leaders from various parts of Newark in an attempt to spur citywide revival.
Before presenting Wilson with her award, Crump praised Wilson for her well-known volunteerism around the community. “When the name Madge Wilson came up (for the nomination), just about everyone agreed,” she said.
Wilson serves low income seniors and children by working tirelessly during the holidays to supply Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas gifts, as well as year-round by helping the homeless find housing, obtain furniture and get school supplies, and generally advocates for those in need.