Fashion show and contest highlight DYPAC benefit

Photo by Noel Jackson
Olivia Schutt poses with her mannequin, which captured first place in the “People’s Choice” category of the mannequin-art contest/luncheon/fashion show benefit for the Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center. More than 200 women attended the fundraiser April 27 at the Grecian Center in Southgate. Schutt painted the mannequin black and dressed it in a creation of melted crayons and a Mylar skirt. Her prize was a $100 gift certificate donated by Sibley Gardens.

By Evelyn Cairns
More than 200 style-conscious women gathered at the Grecian Center on a glorious, sunny April 27 for a runway fashion show featuring the latest spring and summer styles, a delectable luncheon and an opportunity to cast “People’s Choice” ballots in a mannequin art contest.

A benefit for the Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center, the evening, titled “First Impressions,” raised more than $4,000 for DYPAC, said Debbie Jackson, the organization’s administrator.

Attendees sipped fruit-flavored champagne cocktails and participated in a raffle for 15 gift baskets prior to the luncheon and a fashion show by Trisha’s Boutique of Woodhaven.

The mannequin art contest judges — Trish Flavin, Marilyn Bommarito and Nancy Hopkins — se-lected Kristine Roberts, Mary Elizabeth Corbett and Cheryl Zemke as the winners on the basis of creativity and theme.

Roberts received the $300 first prize for a mirrored and grouted creation titled “What You See Is What You Get,” and Corbett, $200, second, for “Paper Doll,” using her own watercolors with jewels, peacock feathers and beads.

Third place and $100 went to Zemke for “Deep Down,” a metal statue of liberty sculpture with art-work.

People’s Choice winners, who received gift certificates, included Olivia Schutt, first, for “Pop o’ Color,” featuring a melted crayon bodice with a Mylar skirt; and Kim Sutphin, second, for “Idioms,” a silver mannequin adorned with a frog and saddlebags.

Third place was awarded to Nicole Rainville-Camilleri for “Spring Glory,” decorated with hand-cut glass, Swarovski crystals, pearls and mirrors.

Fashion show models included Colleen Skrzycki, Rose Koval, Florence Morrow, Kris Roberts, Dr. Marilyn Belamaric, Barbara Klemens, Carron Koester and Jennifer Conti.

Others were Missy Bringard, Mishell Schutt, Judy Wood, Diane Hepner, Cindy Rogers, Lina Vrietag, Amanda Noto, Nina Szuch, Lynn Strain and Carol Bell.

Schutt and Therese Maggioncalda, co-chairs of the benefit, were assisted by Jackson, Cheri Kalsic, Ronnie Padmos, Karen Rutkowski, Barbara Rucidlo, Paige Siankantaris, Sarah Wright and Koval.

Coming up . . .
May 8 — Illustrated lecture, “Great American Collectors: Isabella Stewart Gardner,” featuring Gardner’s private art collection; 7 p.m. at the James R. DeSana Center for Arts & Culture, 81 Chestnut, Wyandotte; admission, $15 ($10, members of the Downriver Council for the Arts; $5, students); registrations are being accepted at 734-720-0671 or

May 10-30 — Art exhibit by the Mosaic Artists of Michigan, “Spotlight on Mosaics; opening reception is 6 to 8 p.m. May 10 at the James R. DeSana Center for Arts & Culture, 81 Chestnut, Wyandotte; no charge for admission.

May 11 — Eighth annual Mutt Strut & Pet Expo; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Ford Field Park, Dearborn; registration for the strut begins at 9 a.m.; the event includes Milt Wilcox and His Ultimate Air Dogs, dog games and contests, shopping and food; for more in-formation, go to

May 11 — Annual First Lady’s Tea honoring Christina O’Reilly; 1 to 4 p.m. at the Dearborn Hills Golf Course Clubhouse; the menu will include soup, salad, tea sandwiches, scones, muffins and mini desserts; proceeds are earmarked for the Dearborn Community Arts Council and Dearborn Senior Services; for reservations, $35, call 313-943-3095 or email

May 17, 18, 24, 25 — Wyandotte Community Theatre musical, “Respect,” starring Jazmyn Bencik, Polly Kenzie, Natalie Rankine and Tammy Trudelle; 7:30 p.m. at the James R. DeSana Center for Arts & Culture, 81 Chestnut, Wyandotte; tickets, $15, adults; students and senior citizens, $14; for tickets or more information, call 734-771-9635 or go to