RUNWAY:  The Art of Design, a fundraiser benefiting JFCS of Long Beach/West Orange County, is set to unfold at 5:30 p.m. on September 15 in the Amy and Richard Lipeles Auditorium at the Alpert Jewish Community Center in Long Beach.  The unique blend of fashion trends with a focus this year on the art of design, coupled with helping those who need professional, affordable counseling and support, makes for an event not to be missed.

Garments created by aspiring student designers from the fashion design and merchandising departments of Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach are this year’s special feature at RUNWAY.  “Our intent is to showcase the creativity of these young designers in a setting that matches the spirit of New York Fashion Week.  Having professional models walk the runway in garments created by the next generation of fashion designers will make the event very special for the audience as well as the designers,” said Chief Visionary Wendy Manasse, who with her husband David Wiese, underwrites the expenses of the fundraiser.   Returning to the event this year is a segment where models will walk the runway wearing the latest Fall fashion trends from Macy’s.  The evening will begin with a reception featuring innovative salad creations and beverages, including a signature cocktail.

JFCS Executive Director Kathryn Miles will speak briefly about the mission of JFCS and the positive impact of the agency on the Long Beach community and 22 surrounding cities as it provides professional, affordable mental health counseling and support for all who need help, regardless of religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.  Former clients of JFCS will share their stories of the important role that JFCS has played in helping them overcome mental health issues and regain their inner strength.

Long Beach resident Bonnie McCarthy, a nationally-recognized design enthusiast, writer and photographer, will serve as the emcee for the evening.   A former fashion editor for Teen Magazine and California Apparel News and a contributor to the Los Angeles Times fashion coverage, she has worked in Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo and has also been a style anthropologist.  “We are so lucky to have someone of Bonnie’s caliber and experience to serve as our host,” remarked Manasse.

There will also be an opportunity drawing for the fashion experience of a lifetime in New York City.  The lucky winner and a person of his or her choice will be flown to New York for a two-night stay and a tour of Marie Claire magazine, including lunch in the employee café, a visit to the fashion closet, and a tour of Good Housekeeping Institute.  Tickets for this experience are $100 each and only 100 tickets will be sold.  They will be available online and at the event until supplies are gone.

A chance to walk the runway in today’s latest styles is also available to three individuals who donate $500 to JFCS.  These three women will have their hair and make-up professionally done and will be outfitted by the show stylist in garments that will have them looking their best.  For more information on this opportunity, call Pattie Davidson at (562) 427-7916.

Event tickets are $40 per person in advance, $60 at the door if still available, and are on sale at jfcsrunway.com, or by phone at (562) 427-7916.  A limited number of VIP tickets will be available for $75, and these tickets include preferred seating and an exclusive tote bag.  Sponsors for the event are welcome, and sponsorship levels start at $250.  Contact Pattie Davidson at (562) 427-7916 X235 for more details.  For more information, please call (562) 427-7916 or visit jfcsrunway.com.