Camp Dogwood fashion show raises money for the blind
TERRELL – Sherrills Ford Lions Club really made it a “Night to Remember,” as men and women of all ages flaunted their style on the runways at Camp Dogwood.
The fourth annual fashion show, held April 19, raised money for White Cane, which provides programs and services to North Carolina’s blind and visually impaired community.
Models donned sassy animal print blouses, golf polos and chic evening dresses, all of which cost between $30 and $60. The clothing, jewelry and shoes featured in the show were provided by Kohl’s, Hi-lites Ladies’ Clothing, Page Collectables and Head Over Heels.
“It was a good event,” said Lions Club member and fashion show emcee Pat Hollands. “I loved talking to people and it’s good camaraderie, but what’s really good is that the funds we raised are going to help blind organizations.”
Camp Dogwood, established in 1967 for seeing impaired campers, has been named a hallmark achievement for the nonprofit Lions Club organization. Although many Lions joke that it’s one of North Carolina’s “best-kept secrets,” Camp Dogwood director Susan King doesn’t want it to be.
“I feel like these disabled adults are under-treated,” said King. “There just aren’t that many programs out there for them after they turn 18.”
Funds like the ones provided through the Lions Club’s fashion show will help Camp Dogwood spread its mission, maintain its facilities and offer affordable summer experiences to more than 850 campers each summer.
“This program is so important, not just to the campers but to their friends and families who want nothing more than to see their loved ones happy,” King said. “Most campers live in very limited circumstances at home, and this is their big hoorah.”
Throughout the year, the White Cane fund will contribute to the Lions Club’s multiple efforts to create a statewide outreach that helps to help improve the lives and experiences of the blind community.
These services include the Vision Van, which travels to different churches, festivals and community centers screening children and adults for early detection of vision problems. Also, the fund provides canes for the blind, and financial aid for Camp Dogwood’s summer programs.
Camp Dogwood’s summer program offers the visually impaired a fulfilling vacation without limitations. Using a staff trained specifically to work with visually impaired people, they provide activities that participants don’t usually have the opportunity to enjoy, such as swimming, waterskiing, horseback riding and painting.
“I remember one camper told me, ‘Susan, I can’t paint. I’m blind,’” King said. “I said yes, you can! And he did, and he loved it.”