POUGHKEEPSIE – Alyssa Carrion of MHA Dutchess Vet2Vet and nine other female military veterans were transformed into runway models on Monday night. The fundraiser for veterans’ programs was sponsored by Ola Nesheiwat Hawatmeh, a designer responsible for other fashion shows for women, namely “Survivor Fashion Week” for cancer survivors.
“We are thrilled that Ola chose Vet2Vet as the agency to help. This fundraiser, which directly supports our programming, brought women warriors together for a night of fun as Ola’s way of thanking those of us that have served our country,” said Carrion who serves as the Vet2Vet HERO program manager.
Hawatmeh provided dresses, many designed by her, for the models to wear and keep, in the show held at Cosimo’s in Poughkeepsie. Makeup and hairstyling for the ladies were provided by Locks that Rock, and through Ola, the women received the services at no charge. Ola founded Mom Me Makeover years ago and has been providing charitable makeovers for women, cancer patients, and veterans since its inception.
“This is a day for us to honor and celebrate these beautiful women warriors,” said Hawatmeh. “These ladies deserve all of this and more,” she said as the ladies gathered in the front of the room. The announcement set the stage for Rita Powers, owner of Rita Powers Casting Group to announce that each participant in the runway show would be receiving an opportunity to be cast as an extra in a tv show or movie through her agency.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro took a few moments to thank the veterans for their service while addressing the current situation in Afghanistan. “The news and imagery of these last few days have weighed heavy on those who served. We owe you so much,” he told them, adding “If you need assistance reach out to our Vet2Vet team.”
Hudson Valley musician John DelVecchio donated his services of background music. “Our veterans deserve to be honored and given every opportunity available,” he said. “I am honored to be here to help.”
Carrion noted that the MHA Dutchess Vet2Vet is always willing to accept donations of financial support for their veteran-focused programming. “We are here for veterans. If someone needs our services or wants to make a donation, they can call me at 845-473-2500. We’ll take all of the help we can get.”