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Children Prepare for Hope in Style Event, Receive Shopping Spree

For the third year, Belk provided a free shopping spree for residents at Mills Home in Thomasville. Volunteers gathered with children at the department store’s new High Point location on July 22 - 24 to help them choose new back-to-school clothing.

The shopping experience is part of Hope in Style, a children’s fashion show and silent auction on August 9 at the Greensboro Country Club. The event’s lead sponsor is Smart Choice in High Point with Belk providing the clothing. Mills Home residents will walk a fashion show runway to model their new outfits for event attendees.

“As a store – as a company – there’s no greater joy than to help children in need,” said Laura Danclovic, Manager of Belk in High Point. Belk provided $150 in clothing for each Mills Home resident.

Mills Home in Thomasville is a part of Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing care for children who come from a variety of difficult circumstances.

Hope in Style, and the opportunity to shop for new clothes, means so much to our residents,” said BCH’s Karen Slate who organizes the annual event. “There are times children come into our care with only the clothes they are wearing,”

Kadarius, 12, and Keontae, 9, brothers who live at Mills Home, shopped on Tuesday with other boys from their residential cottage.

“The night before, Keontae kept saying ‘I can’t wait, I can’t wait,’” Kadarius said. “He was talking about it all night.”

With the help of volunteer Julie King of Greensboro, Keontae picked out a coat, tie and dress pants. It was the first time King, who has three daughters, has shopped for boys’ clothing.

“I loved seeing him come out of the dressing room wearing his tie,” King said. “This has been one of my most enjoyable shopping experiences.”

Eight-year-old Thomas, with volunteer Stephanie Frazier of Greensboro in tow, looked through the many clothing racks in the boys’ department until settling on a final outfit.

“What I liked about shopping is when I found my new hat and shirts and shorts and got to try them all on,” Thomas said. Frazier ensured that everything fit comfortably.

“When Thomas sees me again, I hope he will think about our special day and remember what a good time we had shopping together,” Frazier said.

Hope in Style, whose proceeds help provide for the ongoing care of Mills Home residents, is dependent on community volunteers and sponsors. The needs of the organization’s boys and girls, many who have experienced abuse and neglect, inspired new participant Smart Choice to become Hope in Style’s lead sponsor.

“It’s so important that our youth are provided with the guidance and love they need,” said Smart Choice CEO Douglas Witcher. Smart Choice, an independent insurance network located in 42 states and headquartered in High Point. “BCH is working to make a difference in their lives. I can’t think of anything I’d rather support more.”

Longtime WXII Channel 12 News anchor Wanda Starke will serve as emcee for the two-hour event. Starke will be joined by keynote speaker Sharon Decker, who serves as the North Carolina Secretary of Commerce, and accomplished pianist Randy Stewart.

Hope in Style also includes a silent auction and a catered brunch. According to Slate, the event’s brightest spotlight shines on Mills Home’s boys and girls as they model their new outfits.

“The smiles on the children’s faces as they walk the runway make everyone’s efforts worthwhile.”

Hope in Style tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available. Tickets cost $30. The silent auction begins at 9:00 a.m. and the event program is from 10 a.m. until noon. To purchase tickets or learn more, visit www.hopeinstyle.org or contact Karen Slate at 336-474-1211.