Chamber Women Support Community

Every year the Drake House provides emergency housing and services for more than 50 women and their children, 41 percent of whom are from Sandy Springs.  To help support its work, the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber Women’s Business Network is sponsoring a fashion show June 9 at UPS global headquarters.

“With Fashion Goes Global, we hope to raise funds to support that mission and help us stabilize these families. We continue to see the number of folks living in poverty grow,” says Kathy Swahn, executive director of the Drake House.

Fashion Goes Global will take place June 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  More than 200 guests will enjoy camaraderie, conversation, wine and signatures appetizers while cheering on a runway show featuring Sandy Springs rescue heroes, community volunteers, corporate leaders and Sandy Springs’ First Lady Jan Paul.

“This is such a great cause,” says Samantha Barton, marketing and events coordinator for the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce. “Even though the Drake House isn’t located in Sandy Springs, they help a large number of women from Sandy Springs. It’s a way to give back to the community and I know that, especially having the event at UPS, it will be bigger and better than ever.”

Last year, the fashion show raised $5,000; this year, the goal is $7,500.

“With events like this we are able to support our programs,” says Swahn. “People think that the poverty is in downtown Atlanta, but the suburbs are really where the poverty is occurring, much more so than downtown.”

The Drake House, located at 10500 Clara Drive in Roswell, provides a mother and her family either a one- or two-bedroom furnished apartment. In addition to the housing, the women receive career counseling and participate in an empowerment program. All family members must attend a weekly life skills program that helps them with personal finances, parenting, health and wellness and organizational skills. Tutors assist elementary students with homework and middle and high school students participate in Junior Achievement Classes.

The runway outfits will come from The Drake Closet, a supporting boutique whose motto is “Fabulous Finds for the Frugal Fashionista.” For seven years, women wanted to donate clothes to the Drake House. “We always referred them to other thrift stores,” says Swahn. “Then our board realized that we could leverage this support and in October 2011 we opened a store and then two years later, another.”

The Drake Store features clothes and jewelry donated so that moms could have clothes for an interview or work. There are also prom dresses and other clothing. The residents of the Drake House get the clothes for free, but the two shops, located in Rowell and Alpharetta, are also open to the general public.

“We welcome women who want to volunteer at the Drake Shop, donate clothing or shop in our store,” she says.

Both Swahn and Barton were excited about the fashion show’s sponsors and volunteers. For instance, signature appetizers will be donated by 5 Seasons Brewery, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Nancy G’s, Hammock’s, A Divine Event, Luv at First Bit, The Brickery, Taziki’s and Teela Taqueria. Presenting sponsors are Henssler Financial, The Joint, Michael’s Salon and the accounting firm of Babush, Neiman, Kornman & Johnson. Massage Envy Spa created a matching contribution based on sales.

“We have so many supporters and it’s awesome,” says Swahn. “We need help in stabilizing these women and their families.”

Tickets are $20 for chamber members and $35 for non-members. Pre-registration is required and may be done online at  SSPChamber.org.