Fashion show raises $50,000 for seniors

BAC2Fashion co-chairs Raquel Binder, left, and Jessica Taylor

TORONTO — Young Jewish professionals modelled new designs at a recent charity fashion show that raised nearly $50,000 for seniors programs.

This is the most BAC2Fashion, which is now in its fourth year, has raised so far. 

“It’s a really unique way to bring together the young adult community for a cause we can all relate to,” said event co-chair Jessica Taylor.

The BAC2Fashion event, held on June 7 in the Great Hall on trendy Queen Street West in Toronto, was hosted by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s Community Connect (CoCo), a network of 20- and 30-year-old Jewish professionals. 

“Lots of people tell us that when they finish university, they miss that connection they had to their community – lots of us were involved with Hillel – and suddenly you don’t have that anymore,” said event co-chair Raquel Binder. “We’re missing that peer group, and this network helps create a sense of self and continue that connection.”

In keeping with the goal of raising funds and awareness about seniors challenges in Toronto, the event opened with models walking down the runway with seniors themselves. “This was definitely a highlight of the show. One senior told me she felt like she was queen for the day,” said Taylor. 

The packed two-storey venue was filled with young professionals and those they were supporting – seniors in Toronto. The runway show, which featured models wearing new fashions from more than eight Toronto boutiques, was intermixed with dance performances. The event was a “fun, creative way to support the community,” said Taylor.

With the theme “Making It,” the event was also designed to celebrate the career accomplishments of Jewish professionals – in the fashion industry and beyond.

The funds raised will go to Healthy @ Home, an initiative funded by the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto that provides programming for seniors in apartment buildings on Bathurst Street.

 “I really like that it is a multi-generational affair,” said Joy Cherry, who attended the event. “It is creating awareness of older ones who need the support – and it’s good for seniors to know that the young are helping them.”

But it’s not just the seniors who benefit. “It’s a great way for young professionals who are finding their way in life to keep them grounded in the Jewish community,” said Taylor. “We have truly made it.”