NORFOLK, VA – Coronavirus or no, “The show went on!” (Fashion Show that is.)
The Lake Taylor Auxiliary’s 24th Annual Fashion Show was nearly canceled this year due to Governor Northam’s restrictions on indoor events and large gatherings in order to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. Instead, the event managed to come off on its original day and start time, from noon until 12:45 on Saturday, September 26, via livestream exclusively on Facebook.
Needless to say this was a first for everyone involved with the Fashion Show, from the Auxiliary volunteers, to the staff at Mary Barnett’s, to the volunteer models and of course, the supporters who normally purchase tickets to attend. Under ordinary circumstances, the annual fundraising event is held inside a country club or similar venue and features a formal sit-down luncheon, a silent auction, musical entertainment along with the fashion show — runway models and all. Attendees are normally able to browse and purchase items from a select inventory of dresses, shoes, coats and accessories.
Rather than cancel the show outright, the Auxiliary’s volunteer leaders decided to take this unprecedented leap of faith to produce a Facebook event by livestreaming the program remotely from Mary Barnett Gifts & Decorative Accessories in Norfolk. Reminder mailings, posters, emails and postings on Lake Taylor’s Facebook pages promoted the change of plans and encouraged regular attendees to “tune in.” A promotional campaign reached over 5,000 Facebook users with the event notice in hopes of enlarging the potential audience for the show.
Interested individuals who were not on Social Media were invited to organize or attend “Watch Parties” at homes of friends with Facebook accounts, or watch on their desktop computers or Smart TVs. Mobile devices such as tablets or Smartphones with the Facebook app were also able to access the feed.
The results? According to all involved, the event came off very well and all parties were happy in the decision to adapt the Show around these unusual circumstances. The best part is, in addition to the viewers who saw the program live, a recording of the video can be seen here.
Proceeds from the Fashion Show benefit Lake Taylor’s Hospital patient amenities, services and programs. If you’d like make a donation, please call the Office of Volunteers, 461-5001, ext. 427 or 426, or visit: www.laketaylor.org/help-support-us/auxiliary for more information.