October 10, 2018

Alyssa Tufts

Girls Rule Foundation will host mother-daughter fashion show

Join Phoenix-based nonprofit Girls Rule Foundation for an evening full of fashion, friendship, and fun while celebrating and fundraising to help young women thrive as they host their Inaugural Girls Change the World Fashion Show on Friday, Oct. 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Mountain Park Church in Phoenix.

Emceed by Tracy Union, up-and-coming influencer and sister of actress Gabrielle Union, the event will feature 20 mother-daughter pairs wearing pieces from Gabrielle Union’s New York & Company fall collection. Girls will also debut “Girls Change the World” T-shirts designed by Girls Rule Foundation. Impacting about 1,500 girls each year since they were established in 2013, Girls Rule Foundation helps girls build leadership, strong self-confidence and bright futures through empowerment and leadership programs, and anticipate they will impact 7,125 girls in 2018-2019 by achieving their funding goals.

Attendees can participate in raffles, take photos in the photo booth, plus bid on silent auction trips and enjoy mocktails. All event proceeds will go towards supporting the Phoenix-based nonprofit’s four programs: BBB Role Model Awards & Mentor Program, Shine Brightly Monthly Summit, Wings to Fly Summer Camp, and dreamLABS After-School Club. Tickets are $20+ and can be purchased at GirlsRuleFashionShow.Eventbrite.com.

AZ Big Media asked Dena Patton, valley entrepreneur and cofounder of Girls Rule Foundation, and Tracy Union, up-and-coming influencer and emcee of the event—about the fashion show, its impact on women of all ages, and exciting future possibilities.

AZ Big Media: Why did Girls Rule Foundation decide to host the fashion show?

Dena Patton: As a nonprofit dedicated to girls, we always celebrate International Day of the Girl on Oct. 11th. This year, we wanted to do something new! We are blessed to have Tracy Union, actress Gabrielle Union’s sister, as one of our awesome volunteers and she helped us come up with the idea for Union’s fashion show. It was perfect timing because Gabrielle’s fall line is coming out just in time for #DayOfTheGirl. As a small nonprofit, we don’t have the capacity to host a large gala, but I think women and girls appreciate fun events like this.

ABM: How does this event increase awareness of Girls Rule Foundation and the mission while raising money to go towards supporting Girls Rule Foundation programs?

DP: At the event, we will share a five-minute overview on our four programs and our movement, along with sharing a few ways that people can get involved. We want people to understand who we are and what we are providing the community. Additionally, the money raised at the event will go to support each program, including our mentorship opportunities, leadership summer camp, after-school club and monthly summit.

ABM: How does having Tracy Union be involved and having Gabrielle Union’s fall line at New York and Company be featured give the fashion show a unique platform?

DP: We love Tracy and Gabrielle as supporters of Girls Rule. Tracy has been involved for years and brings so much personality and brilliance to our programs. She is the emcee at our monthly mother-daughter Shine Brightly Summit, which happens the first Saturday of each month. As a small nonprofit, it’s extra special to have Gabrielle as a donor and supporter of our work. We love her fashion line and this collaboration is special to us. All the women and girls walking in the fashion show are extremely excited too.

ABM: What goals are you anticipating to reach for the show and what do you hope for the show’s future?

DP: This show idea came about only eight weeks ago so we have been very busy working to make it happen in time for International Day of the Girl. Not only is it a great collaboration with Gabrielle and Tracy and a fun holiday celebration but it’s also our very first live fundraiser. Our goal is to raise awareness in the Phoenix area of our programs, gain new supporters and raise crucial funds to continue our programs in 2019.

AZ Big Media: What about this fashion show appealed to you and why did you want to be involved?

Tracy Union: The work that this organization is doing brightens my light. Being asked to be the emcee is an honor. This is a crucial moment in history, when it comes to supporting and empowering women, and we need to make sure that full equality becomes a reality for our girls.

ABM: In what ways does this event bring people together to celebrate and support women and build a community?

TU: Girls Rule Foundation is all about creating a safe place for women and girls to be free and connect with one another. When you feel free to express yourself without fear, you can’t help but inspire others. When you inspire others, your light shines brighter and so does theirs. It’s win after win after win for everyone. There will also be food; tell me what community isn’t built around food.

ABM: What has been your process preparing to emcee this show? What has been your favorite part?

TU: I began envisioning all the girls and women in the crowd, enjoying themselves and learning about the amazing work that Girls Rule Foundation does, which made me even more excited.  I’ve worked on two amazing parts: helping coordinate the fashion featured on the catwalk and fundraising. Both tasks are somewhat outside my comfort zone, so I appreciate the opportunity to face this personal challenge. I can’t wait to watch our models unveil their runway pieces; this event is going to make everyone feel like a star, inside and out!