press release with April Hickman’s interview
2nd Annual Kentucky Derby Fashion Show 830 Phillips Ln, Louisville, KY 40209 04/15/2018 5:30-9:00 pm.
Live Out Loud Charity (LOLC) hosted a fashion show to raise funds for suicide prevention and anti-bullying. Local and national fashion designers showcased their collections on stage at one of Louisville’s premier venues; the Crowne Plaza. Over 460 people attended and over 150 models of all sizes, heights, ages, and ethnic backgrounds took the stage to stand against suicide and bullying. “Some of our models are professionals, but all are real people affected by suicide, depression, bullying, and low self-esteem. Each person that walks our runway is empowered by our training and the incredible experiences they gain at LOLC events. Live Out Loud Charity is a major support system for individuals needing a positive outlet to rebuild their confidence,” states founder, Sherrie Gearheart.
Spokespersons including Teen Kentucky Ambassador Shanna McClung along with Sherrie Gearheart educated the audience on the signs of depression, the steps for suicide intervention, and the resources available for those in need. Funds raised from the benefit aided in the organization’s 2018 community outreach in core character development and anti-bullying.
Community members, media outlets, and school officials attended the benefit. Performers at the show were Kentucky teen vocalist Savannah Reeves along with Atlanta based singer/songwriter Jason London. Opening the show was child singer Dylan Maynard and Kathy Navigator. The fashion show had designers from Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois. The official designers that showcased in the 2nd Annual Kentucky Derby Fashion Show for LOLC included: MJ Millennial Collection, Kimberly Phillips Clothier, Brick Malone, JossyBelle Boutique, Sharisa Couture Designs, Danaya Designs 4U, Wonderfulee Marlee, Jackson Skyler, Keyan Karr, Bella Royal, Jordan Skeen, HEKaTuRe Designs, Bryan Boyd, and The Polkadotted Pineapple Boutique.
Now we will hear from:
APRIL HICKMAN / WONDERFULEE MARLEE from Kentucky
· What was the inspiration behind this collection? What are your favorite pieces?
o “Color! Whimsical. I have an eclectic style when it comes to fashion. This collection, Beloved, was inspired by the colors. Children are naturally radiant. They are so full of life and display colors with each laughter, each memory made, every adventure. They are authentic until we teach them not to be. I was just excited about the opportunity to be a part of their natural shine and all the colors they bring to this life.”
o “Can I say everything, lol??? Each model brought something different to garments. Their own presence. But if I have to choose, it would be my little flower fairy, Paint strokes: All the colors flowed so beautifully. The butterfly dress and the blue rosettes. I LOVED them all! I also had the best models ever!”
· Why did you become involved with Live Out Loud Charity?
o “A friend told me about LOLC. At first, I thought it was just about a fashion show until I talked to the Founder, Sherrie Gearhart. I had goosebumps during our conversation. I am a suicide survivor. I have dealt with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and Schizoaffective disorder for a long time. I have been bullied and sometimes the bully. To come across a charity that FIGHTS for others with my issues was AMAZING. A charity that was bold, unapologetic, yet compassionate to people who have had and still have struggles with mental illness, using fashion, WOW! LOLC is literally saving lives! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”
· Do you have any upcoming fashion shows people can see your collection in?
o “June 2, 2018 Wonderfulee Marlee will showcase during Power Vision’s Spring Edition Fashion show. The show will be hosted at 438 Baxter Avenue. We also look forward to be a part of LOLC’s Indianapolis show as well.”
· Where can we follow you or learn more about your collection?
o “We currently have a Facebook page, Wonderfuleemarlee/Facebook. We are in the process of building a website and creating Instagram. We will also be releasing a blog soon. Any updates will be posted to the Facebook page for now.”
Did you miss our last fashion show? No Worries. We would like to invite the public to our upcoming 9thAnnual International Fashion Show for Live Out Loud Charity, held at the Indianapolis Arts Garden, in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.
Live Out Loud Charity is a non-profit organization founded in 2010. LOLC’s mission is to save lives through awareness and education. The organization has reached millions of people worldwide through television, radio, magazines, school tours, awareness events, and newspapers. The non-profit holds an annual Leadership Academy, training volunteers as spokespersons and ambassadors in the QPR Institute’s suicide intervention program, its Core Character Development workshops, and STAR anti-bullying presentations. LOLC has successfully trained over 100 representatives across the United States as well as internationally in Puerto Rico, Ireland, the Philippines, Jamaica, Liberia, Canada, and France. To learn more visit: www.liveoutloudcharity.org For additional information contact: Sherrie Gearheart, info@ liveoutloudcharity.org (815) 914-860.
Photography: Carols Rodolfo Chinchilla
Photography: Alex Callejo, AC Photography (grey & yellow pants outfit).