Legal community struts its stuff for Peace at Home
Posted on March 17, 2011
By Kelsi Ford
Professor Bob Moberly spends most of his days grading papers in his office or teaching a classroom full of law students. But on March 16, Moberly took on another role: runway model.
Moberly sashayed down the runway, looking fashionable in an office-worthy Banana Republic ensemble. He was followed by other professors and local lawyers, all decked out in trendy outfits and strutting down the platform at the Esquire Attire Fashion Show, a charity event for a local domestic violence shelter.
Two emcees, Professor Stephen Sheppard and Assistant Professor D’lorah Hughes, announced the models’ names and what they were wearing, as they paraded into the center of the noisy banquet room at Savor Restaurant.
Twenty-nine models, including 11 University of Arkansas law professors and several Fayetteville lawyers took the runway to raise money for the Peace at Home Family Shelter. The event, which has been held annually since 2006, was hosted by the university’s chapter of the Women’s Law Student Association.
Peace at Home, located in Fayetteville, is an emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence.
Erica Durr, the membership chairman of the Women’s Law Student Association, says her previous work with domestic violence shelters taught her just how important charity events for these shelters are.
“Many people don’t realize that these organizations are largely run by donations,” Durr says. “That’s why it is so important to have events such as Esquire Attire. It increases awareness of domestic violence throughout our community while raising funds that allow the shelter to continue operating.”
Brandy Henle, the Peace at Home transitional services coordinator, says the shelter also runs support groups for adults and children in the shelter, as well as a thrift store. Volunteers at the shelter help victims find housing and jobs, help with job training, and offer assistance to victims who have medical or financial needs.
“Anyone in the community that needs help with resources can come to us,” Henle says.
Laurent Sacharoff, an assistant law professor who modeled in the runway show, says he participated in the show for several reasons.
“Mostly, because it was a good cause and I thought it would be fun, which it was,” Sacharoff said.
The fashion show showcased outfits donated by MACA, Men’s Wearhouse, Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer, Maude, David’s Bridal, and several other local stores.
Guests dressed in cocktail attire mingled with glasses of wine or beer in hand as an ignored acoustic guitarist played in the background. Many of them placed bids on donated items in a silent auction.
During the fashion show, the guests, seated at tables around the makeshift runway, cheered loudly as the models strutted their way into the center of the room.
The show had two intermissions, during which Durr and Brittney Flinn, another Women’s Law Student Association member, performed The Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” and Carrie Underwood’s “Change.”
While most of the evening was light-hearted, a representative from Peace at Home spoke after the fashion show and thanked the models and event organizers for donating their time and money to aid the shelter in helping victims of domestic abuse.
Durr said between ticket sales and the silent auction, the event raised $3,531 for Peace at Home, which was significantly more than in previous years. More than 100 guests attended the fashion show.
Henle said she wasn’t sure what the proceeds would be used for at Peace at Home, but she said they may be used to assist victims at the shelter in getting legal help.
“I can’t imagine a better turnout or show,” Durr said. “[The] event ran smoothly, and everyone genuinely had a good time.”
Moberly said he is proud of the university’s law students for donating so much of their time to a charitable cause.
“The least I could do is support them and the cause by spending a moment or two on the runway,” he says.