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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Fashion show with a hearty cause

Vonda’s store in downtown Grinnell models an all-red dress in the window to advertise the Wear Red fashion event. Photo by Helena Gruensteidl

By Mineta Suzuki

On Feb. 3 at 3 p.m., St. Francis Manor and Seeland Park, a nonprofit nursing facility, showed off their Iowa fashion flare at the “Go Red for Women Fashion Show.” Eight women will model in the show, proving that the rules of fashion are simple: wear red.

“[We host the event] to provide fun and fellowship for women as well as to remind them of the risk factors and warning signs of heart disease,” wrote Shelley Schrack, administrative assistant at St. Francis Manor, in an email to The S&B.

Indeed, Feb. 3 is widely recognized as National Wear Red Day, originally launched by the American Heart Association in 2003. On this day, women are encouraged to wear red to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease, which remains the leading cause of death for women today.

Involving the local community, St. Francis Manor will serve as the heart of such activism. The red-inspired outfits will be provided by the Christopher & Banks clothing store in Williamsburg, 40 miles away from Grinnell. Once the curtain falls after the show, the clothing will be available for purchase.

This will be the fourth year St. Francis Manor celebrates the National Wear Red Day and the third year they do so with a fashion show. Two years ago, 150 residents filled their Social Center, marking it one of the most popular events at St. Francis Manor.

One of a few differences from major shows, like Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, is that there is no audition. The result is a mature diversity of ages, rarely found at a New York Fashion Week show.

“We wanted a range in age and range in length of time living here at Seeland Park. The models range in age from 74 to 93! We have 2 models who just moved here last year and one who has lived here for 14 years!” Schrack wrote.

The event is also open to the public. The residents of St. Francis Manor as well as any attendees are invited to wear red and participate together, all while enjoying heart-healthy snacks. There will even be a prize for the “One Red-Hot Lady” of the event, awarded to one lucky attendee.

“They all are good sports and like to have fun! One will even be strutting her stuff sporting a walker!” Schrack wrote.

Entertainment with a hearty purpose and models with experience — what more could you want to see this weekend?

The American Heart Association began the Go Red for Women campaign in 2003, aimed at raising awareness and hopefully preventing some of the lives lost every year to heart disease, which is the number one killer of women.

The event also aims to put a spotlight on an all around heart heatlhy lifestyle — eating right, staying active and keeping a fresh fashion sense.

For more information, visit or call 641-236-7592.

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