Experiencing homelessness is a struggle wherever it happens.  Experiencing a winter in north Idaho at the same time is another story.  We all know what the weather is like here, but do many of us think about what it’s like for those who have no other place to be but out in it?  Those thoughts were on the mind of the many who attended St. Vinny’s Fifth Annual Fashion Show.

Meeting and greeting before the show.

Friendly greeting at the Mountain West Bank table.

Judy Simpson, Nancy Flagan, Mary Lou Reed, Gratia Griffith, Helen Shortridge, and Roberta Larsen at the Margaret Reed Foundation table.

Along with the fashion show, the evening’s festivities included dinner, a live auction and paddle raise, and raffle items.

Sally Chandler and Sue Myers (hands pictured) prepare their raffle tickets.

Committee Chair Ashley Piaskowski thanks everyone for attending.

And as dinner concluded, the show began with a bang.

That got the crowd going, as did some fancy footwork from a couple of the models.

Cutting a runway rug.

On one end of the runway there was Lou Chandler cheering for everyone.

Everyone wants to share with Lou Chandler.

And on the other end was a table of boa wavers with enough enthusiasm for the whole room.

The boa table loves the casual look.

And the models gave the love right back.

Rocking the leather.

When it was time to talk about why everyone was there, people listened.  Two families came to the stage to show their appreciation for what the warming centers have meant to them:  A mother and her daughter who no longer have to sleep in their car and have their own apartment, and a husband and wife with their young son.

David and Sarah Thompson with their little boy, and Janette and Faith Lorton all have been helped by the warming center and came on stage to show their appreciation.

Then it was time to really raise some money.

Auctioneer Matt Backs speaks to a packed house. “When you give someone just a leg up, that’s all it takes.”

There were so many tickets to draw from, so many people wanting to give, that they spilled out of the container.  Luckily there were plenty of helping hands.

So many tickets!

It’s getting colder out there.  People experiencing homelessness in north Idaho are going to be facing an even tougher struggle.  From the looks of the how the latest St. Vinny’s Fashion Show turned out they will have a warm, safe place to be when the worst is upon them.  We should all be thankful for that.