SARPA hosts Starry Night Fashion Show Saturday

The Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Agency (SARPA for short) will hold its annual fashion show and fundraiser “Starry Night” on Saturday at the Fayetteville Town Center.

The fashion show will feature local celebrities modeling local designer fashions, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, and tunes by Blythe McCaulke and DJ Beat Bachs.

Tickets are $20 for general admission, $25 for reserved seating, and $300 for VIP tables of 10. All proceeds raised go to benefit SARPA, an organization that provides long-term, direct survivor services to victims of sexual assault.

We got in touch with Connie Taylor and Bianca Rucker, co-chairs of the organization, and they filled us in on some of the haps for Saturday night.

FF: Tell us a bit about SARPA.
Connie Taylor: It is a wonderful organization that helps adult survivors of sexual violence. SARPA, formerly known as Northwest Arkansas Rape Crisis, was founded in 1976 to service Benton, Washington, and Madison Counties. We provide personal advocacy, a 24-hour hotline, and we escort survivors to court and to medical care providers. SARPA also provides a private community-based clinic, where a survivor can receive support, advocacy, education, referrals, and a medical examination by a certified or qualified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) who is specifically trained to work with sexual assault survivors and gather evidence for the police and prosecution. All of our services are free, confidential, and provided in English and Spanish.

FF: Looks like you’ve changed venues for this year’s show. What else will be different?
Bianca Rucker: A lot! Helena Gadison, founder/CEO of EMW Enterprises, Inc., will emcee this year’s event and has a lot of surprises in store for all.

FF: Who will be modeling this year?
Connie Taylor: Once again, we will be featuring local NWA stars. Some of our local stars include Anastasia from 93.3 The Eagle, this year’s Miss Arkansas, Adrielle Churchill and Niki Cung, one of the partners with the legal firm Kutak Rock, just to name a few.

FF: How important is the Starry Night Fashion show as far as a fundraiser for SARPA?
Bianca Rucker: It is extremely important to SARPA. It is currently our biggest fundraiser of the year. All proceeds from this event stay right here in Northwest Arkansas. They are being used to continue our efforts to assist those who are affected by sexual assault, promote community awareness and understanding of sexual assault, and serve as a catalyst to eliminate sexual assault in the Northwest Arkansas community.

FF: What type of silent auction and raffle items will you have this year?
Connie Taylor: We have a lot of exciting stuff this year. Both Lola and Maude have donated several designer items from their stores, Sharp Accents has donated a $500 gift certificate for a closet clean out, and Curve’s of Fayetteville has donated a 3-month membership. We also have several gift certificates/gift baskets from local salons as well as area restaurants and businesses. There are just too many to name. We are very excited by everyone’s willingness to participate in this year’s event!