If you happened to be driving down Ray Avenue recently and saw a gaggle of pretty girls in beautiful dresses, walking through the Linear Park with their dolls, you may have thought they were on their way to a tea party or a play date. But they were not. The girls, all members of the cast of the American Girl Fashion Show, were doing publicity shots for the show.
That’s just one of the many duties the girls sign up for when they ask to be included in the show. They are also tasked with getting sponsors for the event, raising funds and attending tons of practices. At the end of the day, while they do have their moment in spotlight, it’s really not about them. It’s about the abused children who are helped through the Child Advocacy Center. And it is that idea, which keeps many of the girls returning year after year.
Cindy Huguley and Carol Jones have seen the dedication to help others in their own daughters and match it with their own tireless efforts in planning the annual event. This is their fourth year as cochairs of the event, along with Julia Adkins.
“I keep doing this because of the good cause, which is to help abused children in our community,” said Huguley. “I also keep doing it because the event is such a positive one for all the girls involved. Even at this young age, they learn that they can make a difference.”
“The American Girl Fashion Show is something my kids can relate to,” said Jones. “They have an opportunity to help other children and to participate in something that is fun for them.”
In its ﬁfth year, the American Girl Fashion Show is one of the center’s largest fundraisers. Last year, the girls raised more than $37,000 through their efforts. They are on track to raise that much and more this year. And according to the staff at the CAC, ticket sales are also going well.
Each of the models is responsible for soliciting sponsorships and selling tickets. With four casts in place for the event, organizers expect to not only meet this year’s goal but surpass it. There are 129 models involved in the show and more than 50 parent volunteers. Work on the show begins the week after the show is over, and continues throughout the fall.
“We have a lot of ﬁttings and rehearsals before the show, and the girls are really active through the end of March,” said Huguley.
The pay off is the fun of the event, and the joy it brings to so many other little girls from around the community.
This year, the event is slated for the weekend of March 24-25 at the Crown Center Ballroom. The fun, engaging event showcases historical and contemporary fashions for girls and their dolls. The fashion show includes commentary, music and decorations. And if you bring your doll to a party, there has got to be tea involved. The tea party occurs throughout the fashion show and features a number of sweet treats, which can be shared by attendees.
Additionally, there will be a style salon on hand where dolls and girls can get their hair ﬁxed. There is also a store, where you can purchase matching outﬁ ts for your favorite little girl and her doll.
“This is an extremely child-friendly event,” said Jones. “It’s all about the girls and it makes it a lot of fun for them.”
The show lasts about two hours, which includes an intermission.
“This is a very unique experience. There is really nothing else in Fayetteville that compares to it,” said Huguley. “It’s a great way to connect generations — grandmothers, mothers and daughters. The event really celebrates strong women, and in today’s society, it is really a good, fun thing to do.”
Shows are Saturday, March 24 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Sunday, March 25 at 1 and 5 p.m.
Tickets are selling at a brisk pace, and organizers would love nothing more than to sell out all four shows. One show is already sold out. Tickets are $35, with a limited number of $60 VIP seats available. Tickets include elegant refreshments, party favors, rafﬂes and door prizes. They can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or in person at the Crown Center Box Ofﬁce. Facility fees and or Ticketmaster fees will also apply.
For more information or to order souvenirs, call 486-9700 or visit www.childadvocacycenter.com. The show is recommended for girls ages 6 and up.
Photo; The American Girl Doll Company provides non-proﬁ ts the opportunity to raise funds through the unique American Girl Fashion Show. Models come from all over the community.