Moffat County teenager Ripley Bellio didn’t expect to be walking down the aisle in a white dress before her actual wedding day, but that’s exactly what she did Saturday evening.
It may not have been a real ceremony, but she loved it just the same, mainly for the good cause that was involved in the event.
— For more information on LOVEMI Thrift Shop, 576 Yampa Ave., call 970-824-1066.
The LOVEMI Thrift Way Fashion Show took place this weekend, with the No Float Showboat located behind The O.P. Bar and Grill serving as a runway as people of all ages displayed a variety of unique wardrobes.
Yvette Davis, director of LOVEMI — Loyal Outreach Voluntary Evangelistic Ministry International — said the show served a dual purpose as a fundraiser to support the organization and to get out and about to show what kind of clothing is available in the area. The LOVEMI Thrift Shop and multiple other secondhand outlets in Craig as well as outside town provided the fashions.
“We’re showing people you can get all dolled up for just a buck or two,” Davis said. “It was a lot of work but a lot of fun putting it all together. We’re hoping to make it an annual thing.”
The Thrift Shop helps fund LOVEMI’s work with a women’s shelter that opened in May, with a silent auction with items donated by local businesses also bringing in money.
The fashion show, which also featured live music from John Wayne Band between sets, consisted of three main parts: Western wear, vintage and formal. Sambu Shrestha, 12, said he preferred the more rugged clothes at the beginning.
“I got to wear my cowboy hat and everything,” he said. “I was glad to be in it, because I knew it was for something important.”
On the other hand, Samantha Wrinkles, 20, and Sheyanne Howe, 14, liked the fancier dresses that came later in the show.
Wrinkles wore a sleek black dress she thought would work well as a bridesmaid’s gown.
“I’m actually engaged, but I might buy it for someone else to wear at my wedding,” she said.
Wrinkles’ fiance, Leevi Harms, portrayed the groom in a mock wedding at the end of the show, as he and Bellio pretended to tie the knot.
As a cowgirl herself, Bellio, 18, said she liked the Western portion of the exhibition best because she felt like she was just wearing her everyday clothes. It was only through trying on the bridal gown in the days leading up to the show that she was persuaded to be the focus of the finale.
“Somebody said, ‘You’ve got to wear this in the show!’ so I just said, ‘OK,’” she laughed.
Overall, she felt the night was both fun and meaningful to bring attention to LOVEMI.
“All the people were really amazing, and you can tell they’ve worked really hard on this,” Bellio said. “I’m glad I got to help out in some way for the cause. Yvette needs lots of support because she’s very hard-working and she deserves it.”
Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.