There’s nothing like a fashion show to build anticipation and excitement in a room, and at Goodwill of Northern New England’s Little Black Dress Event on April 27 the sold-out crowd was ready for a show.

“I love the buzz in the room!” exclaimed Anne Roosevelt, president and chief executive officer of Goodwill of Northern New England, as she welcomed guests to Ocean Gateway in Portland for the sixth annual fashion show, which helps to support Goodwill’s Veterans Fund.

“Goodwill’s Veterans Fund helps vets to move forward despite events in their lives,” she said, as guests settled into seats lining the runway. “This important work is guided by vets and accessed by veterans, and these gifts come at critical points in their lives.”

Supporters filled the room. Kevin and Carla O’Sullivan of Cumberland joined friends Greg Wiessner and his wife, Jennifer, a Little Black Dress model. Christian and Jessica Lewis, also of Cumberland, chatted with friend and model for the evening Randy Creswell of Falmouth, who attended with his wife, Gwen, a fellow model.

“I was honored to be asked to model,” said Creswell, a lawyer with Perkins Thompson. “My dad was a Marine. It’s a wonderful cause.”

“I wanted to help the organization by volunteering to be a model here tonight,” said Jennifer Hutchins, executive director of Maine Association of Nonprofits. “They are an exemplary organization, particularly because of their successful social enterprise model. I’m so happy to be here.”

Chrissi Moody of Gorham attended with her husband, Shawn, founder of Moody’s Collision Center, and their daughter, Danielle of Springvale, who also walked the runway.

“Goodwill means a lot to us,” said Moody. “My daughter’s husband is an Army vet, and I used to work at Goodwill. It’s always been in my heart. I learned a lot of life experiences there.”

“Goodwill’s Veterans Fund tries to fill those gaps to make sure that vets can get to work,” said Heather Steeves, external communications manager for the organization. “It could be a fee for a bar exam, an application fee, tires for their car – anything that will help keep someone in their job or help them to find a good job. All of the money raised here tonight goes to veterans in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.”

“I am a huge fan of Goodwill and the work they’re doing, particularly with the focus on veterans,” said Liz Cotter Schlax, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Greater Portland. “It’s compelling, and we couldn’t stay away.”

“The fashion show is a real draw,” said Lucille Holt-Sottery, fashion show director. “We have community leaders modeling outfits that all come from a Goodwill store, and people love it. This is an incredible organization and they are true community service leaders.”

“People have a good time,” said Roosevelt, smiling warmly. “We have wonderful volunteer models, and they love to do it. We love bringing people together to support the Veterans Fund.”

Margaret Logan is a freelance writer who lives in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

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