On Saturday, January 17, we got the privilege to attend the Extended Hands of Hope Kickoff Fundraising Event. The event was a great way to bring people together to learn more about sex trafficking and the organization. The night helped benefit the first emergency shelter for teen girls rescued out of trafficking in Colorado. It was a night full of excitement and hope.
The night had started out with drinks, food and a silent auction while the talented Hazel Miller band played in the background. The items that were donated for the silent auction were spectacular, there were so many great items to bid for. It was a fantastic start to the night.
Before the fashion show began, there were a few powerful speakers. One of them being Sgt. Daniel Steele of the FBI Lost Innocence Task Force. Sgt. Daniel had talked about the facts of sex trafficking and the fact that even one person being sold into sex trafficking is one too many. He had left the audience with a quote by Albert Einstein that stuck with me: “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” It really makes you think about the awesome work Extended Hands is doing, trying to save girls from a life of suffering. The other speaker, the host of the night, and the woman who started Extended Hands of Hope, Kristen Harness talked about her experience and the reason why she started this non-profit. Her speech was very inspirational, she brought the audience to tears with her words about the sex trafficking industry and the stories she had to share about the children and women who have to experience this struggle.
The night ended with a stunning fashion show, which showcased the works of Francis Roces of KimonoDragons and Joy Rojanavongse of Prim Era Designs. Both collections were beautiful and were beautifully inspired.
Joy from Prim Era had crafted her collection specifically for this event, she had said that her inspiration for the collection came from her Thai culture, which translated into much of her gold fabrics that she used. She had said that much of the fabrics came from her mom and grandma because they are “fabric hoarders.” The collection consisted of a lot of classic silhouettes, but all crafted in a unique, funky way. The clothes in the collection had a very harmonious vibe to it, the clothes spoke for themselves down the runway. The makeup was also a great expression of the Thai culture, full of gold. It was a great collection, it was full of life and culture.
The KimonoDragons collection was also a sight to see walking down the runway. Francis had said that he was inspired by hybriding different cultures and ideas into one collective idea. It’s not about conforming to one culture, it’s about hybriding the culture into an entirely new idea. He was also inspired by kimonos, because of their versatility and how they are able to fit all different body types. The collection was stunning and had a great use of different patterns and fabrics. Seeing the designs come down the runway, you are able to see Francis’ inspiration, and his ability to translate it into his clothing. The patterns and fabric he used were a great way to liven up the designs. The collection was elegant, yet he put a funky twist to every design, it’s fresh and new.
The night brought together amazing people for a good cause. We left the event with a full heart and more knowledge about the cause. It was a great kickoff for Extended Hands of Hope, there was never a dull moment.