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PACE Center for Girls, Lee County brings celebrity models, high fashion for launch of new ‘Love That Dress!’ collection

PACE Center for Girls, Lee County will celebrate the launch of its next “Love That Dress!” collection with an April 10 fashion show in Bonita Springs.

“Fashion meets Passion” will feature 15 well-known community leaders donning the latest fashion trends and styles on the runway, highlighting new looks from White House | Black Market and retailers from Miromar Outlets, as well as favorite Love That Dress! finds. The event runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10 at the Center for the Performing Arts, 10150 Bonita Beach Road SE in Bonita Springs.

PACE Center for Girls, Lee County is celebrating its 10th season of Love That Dress!, an annual campaign that solicits donations of new and gently loved dresses, handbags, shoes and accessories. Thousands of items then are resold at discounted prices, with all proceeds benefiting PACE Center programs and services.

“‘Fashion meets Passion’ will be a fantastic event as we kick off another season of Love That Dress!, and I can’t wait to check out some of our favorite Love That Dress! styles,” said Christin Collins, co-founder of Love That Dress! “As we celebrate the 10th year of Love That Dress!, it is also exciting to showcase the designer clothing and accessories of Miromar Outlets and White House | Black Market, two phenomenal supporters who have been with us since the very beginning.”

Collins will be joined on the runway by fellow models Bryan Avery, Theresa Ayers, Mark Blust, Melissa Cofta, Alyssa DeLora, Jonathan Gabel, Meg Geltner, Teri Lamaine, Trish Leonard, Gail Markham, Robert McDonald, Amy Sanford, Barb Stevens and Sandy Stilwell-Youngquist.

The Center for the Performing Arts is the presenting sponsor for “Fashion meets Passion,” and White House | Black Market is the title sponsor. Additional sponsors include 96.9 WINK-FM, ABC7, California Closets, Fort Myers Infiniti, Gulfshore Life, Miromar Outlets, New Beginnings Events, Priority Marketing, Services by Jordan and TLC Marketing & Creative Services.

“We’ve been blessed to have amazing support from the community and our business partners for the past decade, and we’re off to a great start this year,” said Trish Leonard, co-founder of Love That Dress! “All of the money we raise at these events ultimately benefits the PACE Center, which has now served more than 600 girls during the past 10 years.”

PACE Center assists girls ages 11 to 18 who have multiple risk factors impacting their academic achievement, including family income, substance abuse, domestic violence, foster home placement, neglect, grief, incarceration of a family member and physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

Tickets for “Fashion meets Passion” are $30, or $25 with the donation of a gently loved dress. Complimentary light bites and beverages will be available, along with amazing raffle baskets. For more information, please call 239-425-2366 or visit PaceCenter.org/locations/lee.

About PACE Center for Girls, Inc.

PACE Center for Girls, Inc., is a non-residential delinquency prevention program targeting the unique needs of girls, ages 11 to 18 years old, facing challenges such as academic failure and truancy, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, foster care, neglect, death of a parent, and family history of incarceration.

PACE is a Florida-based, not for profit organization, and the only statewide prevention program for adolescent at-risk girls in the nation.  In the past year, the Lee County program provided 117 girls with education, counseling, training and advocacy resulting in 95 percent having no involvement with juvenile justice within one year of leaving PACE, 96 percent improving their academic performance and 93 percent remaining in school or obtaining employment three years after leaving PACE. As a result, PACE reduces the significant long-term costs associated with teen pregnancy, substance abuse, unemployment and long term economic dependency.

PACE accepts referrals from the juvenile justice system, the Department of Children & Families, school personnel, community services agencies, parents, family members, friends and self-referrals.

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