York Furrier: A Fresh Take on Fall Fashion, Philanthropy & FUNdraising

This Fall Season, due to COVID-19, the simple act of social interaction has been severely limited or completely curtailed. Thus, the usually bustling Fall Calendar of social soirees, fashion shows, and charitable events have been either canceled, rescheduled to the Spring Season, or, in some cases, gone the virtual route. Here at York Furrier, Inc., we’ve missed working in-person with the fashion show committees, the charity boards, development directors, and all of the special event chairs to assist with selecting fur, outerwear, and accessory fashions from the York Furrier 89th Anniversary Collection for runway shows, as well as providing YF Collection product donations for auctions and raffles. Though a certainly challenging moment in time, it’s wonderful to see how the philanthropic and civic organizations that YF works with, along with the myriad of individuals that support them, have creatively figured-out ways to reinvent the fashion and fundraising realm. While the dates and formats may have changed, the need for donations hasn’t disappeared; and in many cases, fundraising is even more crucial! Here’s a small sampling of some of the charitable and “socially distanced” Fall Happenings that York Furrier has or will be supporting this season.

Leyden Family Service (LFS) & The SHARE Program

This local organization provides a variety of counseling, treatment, community education, and preventative services for individuals and families. From children to senior citizens, the LFS Staff serves clients with mental health issues, alcohol or substance misuse, gambling problems, difficulties associated with aging, and assistance in coping with life changes that cause stress (hello COVID!) or trauma. Via one of the event’s planners and a YF Client, Pam Kibbons, York Furrier provided product support for the LFS Gala Fund Raiser. For the “Make a Difference” event held on October 2nd, using social media and a virtual platform fundraiser, LFS featured an online auction which included the following York Furrier package: a Midnight Knit Wool/Cashmere Blend Wrap with matching Fox Trim paired with a pair of fox trimmed fingerless knit gloves, a Finn raccoon purse charm/key chain, and an inspirational book, “Gather as You Go” by Carol Lavin Bernick. Congrats to the event committee and supporters for making this year’s event a successful FUNdraiser and especially to 77th District Representative, Kathleen Willis, on being the high bidder for the YF Donation!

Elmhurst Centre for Performing Arts (ECPA)

ECPA is working to build an Elmhurst community state-of-the-art performing arts center that will host a plethora of performances including theater, music, dance, and comedy shows. The future venue location is perfectly situated in the heart of the Elmhurst City Centre between 109 and 119 West First Avenue across from the Elmhurst train station. Currently, the ECPA is working with local businesses and residents to raise funds for the building phase. This year’s “Spotlight Gala” will be a virtual celebration held on Saturday, November 14th from 7 – 8:30 PM. The interactive event will engage guests and spotlight donors including York Furrier!

On Thursday, October 1st the ECPA’s Managing Director, Shawna Roubitchek, arrived at York Furrier in the Elmhurst City Centre with Lisa Martin Hoffer, Chair of the Gala’s Live Moments – Auction/Split the Pot/Raffles, volunteer extraordinaire, Lynette Stack, and videographer, and Chair of the event’s Entertainment and Production, Matt Stark, to record a segment featuring the York Furrier live auction donation – a Royal Blue Sculptured Fox Lined Hooded All Weather Reversible Walking Coat. Matt filmed Lynette and Lisa modeling the versatile reversible garment from the YF Collection while they strolled through the store, Elmhurst sidewalks, and into Tannins Wine Bar (another auction donor). Follow @elmhurstcentreperformingarts on Instagram to learn how to register for the virtual event, view additional auction and raffle items, and bid on the YF Donation!

USO of Illinois – Virtual Salute Gala

Since 1941, the stated mission of the USO has been to “Strengthen America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation.” No small task for this private, civilian-run 501c(3) non-profit organization that relies on the generosity of the American people to operate centers, conduct programs, and offer services to the men and women that serve and protect our country. In particular, the USO of Illinois assists almost 350,000 Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve military and military families. From a quick nap at the USO Center facility at Midway Airport to assisting with the transition from military to civilian life via the USO Pathfinder® program, or the numerous support programs for children and spouses, the organization is there 24/7 all year round to help. All this takes generous support in the form of volunteer hours, product donations, and financial support.

On Thursday, October 15th this year’s virtual event featured: emcee, Ravi Baichwal from ABC7 Chicago, special guests Celebrity Chef Art Smith, actors George Lopez and Bob Odenkirk (a Naperville native), actress Ann-Margaret, a special mixologist created USO Salute-tini toast, Alleece Baker singing the Star Spangled Banner to open the event and America the Beautiful to close the evening, and a York Furrier online auction package – a Luxe Lipstick Red Knit Wool Wrap with Matching Fox Trim accessorized with a Multi-color Fox Purse/Muff – a perfect look for Glam or on the Go! Kudos to event sponsors and staff: Allstate Insurance, Pepsico, YF client, and a 4-Star Sponsor Mrs. Joan Stade, and USO IL Special Events Manager, Teresa Bates, and Regional President-USO Midwest, Alison Ruble. Learn more about donation opportunities online at Illinois.uso.org.

Barrington Junior Women’s Club (BJWC)

Celebrating 84 years as a community service organization, the energetic members of the BJWC host two major fundraisers each year – a November Fashion Show and a Spring Casino Night – both of which enable the organization to provide grants to dozens of charities that benefit women, children, and seniors, and offer thousands of dollars in student scholarships. Members devote countless volunteer hours to community service and partnerships for Meals with Wheels, School Tutoring Sessions, Feed My Starving Children, and Safety Town among others. This year’s Fall Fashion Show “The Secret Garden – see how we flourish” will be a virtual event held on Saturday, November 7th with York Furrier being a featured item in the Super Silent Online Auction. The YF Collection donation includes a Midnight colored Luxe Cashmere Wrap with matching Black Fox Trim beautifully Embroidered with Butterflies, accessorized with a Fox and Crystal Beaded Knit Hat and Pair of Fingerless Gloves, plus the inspirational coffee table book, “Gather as You Go: Sharing Lessons Learned Along the Way” written by Carol Lavin Bernick. Visit @barringtonjuniorwomensclub on Instagram for event details and watch party package purchase info.

Butterfield Country Club (BCC) Luncheon Fashion Show

Tuesday, October 13th was a truly THRILLING DAY! The ladies of BCC safely gathered for an IN-PERSON (Note: the last YF in-person fashion show was for Fenwick H.S. in early March!!!!!) Fall Fashion presentation produced by Tracey Tarantino of ZZAZZ Productions. Temps were taken upon arrival, hand sanitizer was utilized upon entrance, and Club members were socially distanced in three distinctive dining rooms - each with its own mini runway. Backstage, the dressing room was also COVID cognizant with model racks carefully spaced far apart. Models, production staff, DJ Akib, and the York Furrier Team including SAIC intern, Royella Stevens, donned masks from arrival thru departure. And, the BCC Staff wore masks and gloves to protect ALL in attendance.

BCC members were treated to the best of Fall Fashion with collections from Max Mara, Ted Baker, Peach Carr, Contessa Bottega, Mira Couture, and of course, York Furrier! Highlights from the YF Collection included: a shimmery leather topper modeled by Eliana Mockler; a reversible lamb to leather walking coat adeptly switched from leather to lamb back and forth and back again by Maria Villari; the crowd fave, a classic with a twist patterned camel hair drape front coat worn by Caroline; a Zac Posen designed merlot colored mink walking coat accessorized with a matching hat and a fox muff/purse modeled by the newly married Elizabeth McNally Mairs; a fox trimmed textured leather shaped coat accessorized with a fox wristlet bag worn by Mia Kapica; an absolutely FABULOUS fox poncho, per the loud applause, modeled by the GORGEOUS, Annalise; and a casual luxe hooded Russian sable zip jacket accessorized with a rainbow-colored Tibetan Lamb tote on the beautiful Shanon Lersch. Following the fashion presentation, one lucky audience member won the YF Accessory Package which included mink trimmed leather gloves and a fox fur purse charm/key chain.

Be sure to Connect with York Furrier, Inc. on Social Media to View Additional YF Fall Happenings:

FB @york furrier, Instagram @yorkfur, Twitter @yorkfurrier, Pinterest @York Furrier, Inc.

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