Wedding Show a huge draw for BBBS

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Showcasing gorgeous wedding gowns in the Patricia M. Productions fashion show, Enchantment Bridal and Formal Gowns in Chatham was a headliner at the Wedding Show at the John D. Bradley Centre in Chatham on Saturday. Staff member Samantha Rivard, left, stands with a gown from the Sophia Tolli Collection with help from Melissa Rivard
Showcasing gorgeous wedding gowns in the Patricia M. Productions fashion show, Enchantment Bridal and Formal Gowns in Chatham was a headliner at the Wedding Show at the John D. Bradley Centre in Chatham on Saturday. Staff member Samantha Rivard, left, stands with a gown from the Sophia Tolli Collection with help from Melissa Rivard

A record crowd took the time this weekend, under sunny skies, to check out the Chatham-Kent Wedding Show at the John Bradley Centre in Chatham, while raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Chatham-Kent.

Brides-to-be and more than 300 kids in the programs offered by BBBS were both winners as approximately 700 people attended the one-day event and raised in excess of $20,000.

Bride-to-be Pam Langstaff, right, along with her mom, Norma Langstaff, were at the Wedding Show Saturday at the John D. Bradley Centre to check out what area vendors had to offer to make her day perfect. Par-Tee Rentals from Petrolia had several tables set up to show brides different options for dinner service décor. Langstaff plans to tie the knot June 11 and was happy for the opportunity get some ideas and options for her wedding day.
Bride-to-be Pam Langstaff, right, along with her mom, Norma Langstaff, were at the Wedding Show Saturday at the John D. Bradley Centre to check out what area vendors had to offer to make her day perfect. Par-Tee Rentals from Petrolia had several tables set up to show brides different options for dinner service décor. Langstaff plans to tie the knot June 11 and was happy for the opportunity get some ideas and options for her wedding day.

According to BBBS staffer Toni Martin, the weekend crowd was the largest so far in the event’s history.

“I’m told over 700 people went through, which is the most from past years,” Martin said. “It was a fantastic day, no storms and beautiful weather.”

She said BBBS executive director Nan Stuckey starts working on the event in August, and the agency as whole pulls it all together.

Mark Brunnenmeir of Bud Gowan Formal Wear in Chatham showcases all the different colours available in men’s formal wear accessories to match any bridesmaids gowns at the Wedding Show Saturday in Chatham.
Mark Brunnenmeir of Bud Gowan Formal Wear in Chatham showcases all the different colours available in men’s formal wear accessories to match any bridesmaids gowns at the Wedding Show Saturday in Chatham.

Besides area vendor booths specializing in all things wedding related, the event featured two fashion shows by Patricia M. Productions showcasing fashions for the bride and groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen and honeymoon wear. The fashions were highlighted by beautiful stage décor from To Suit Your Fancy in Chatham.

With no government funding, BBBS is funded 30 per cent by the United Way and relies on a few big fundraisers throughout the year to bankroll the other 70 per cent. Martin said the money raised goes to maintain the programs the agency offers to children; over 300 in 2015.

Programs include matching children with a Big Brother or Big Sister, which is always looking for people willing to commit to three to four hours a week for one year, an in-school mentoring program involving one hour a week for one year, and group mentoring program in schools that involves 1.5 hours per week for seven weeks.

The group mentoring program, Martin said, is particularly great for high school students looking for volunteer hours with a shorter commitment time.

 

Patricia Clark of PMP had a full slate of models on hand for the wedding show. Clark and her team have been doing the fashion show for more than 10 years. (Mark Benoit photo)
Patricia Clark of PMP had a full slate of models on hand for the wedding show. Clark and her team have been doing the fashion show for more than 10 years. (Mark Benoit photo)

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