Fashion is diverse , fashion is inclusive and fashion gives back. I had the pleasure of attending this years Bold & Beautiful Fashion show at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Birmingham late last month. Not only does this fashion event bring together fashionistas from around the south but it also raises money for the students attending the Maranathan Academy. I reached out to Rosie Butler to get information on covering the event for FashionCrush and I was blown away by her warm welcome. I decided to do a little research on Ms. Butler because as a writer we want to know whom we are interacting with. Not only is Mrs. Butler the creator of the Bold & Beautiful fashion show , she is a philanthropist, a fundraiser, a cancer survivor , a former Ebony model and a mother. Mrs Butler my love, you are so many GOALS!
When her youngest son was born with a terminal liver disease and finding herself facing 3 terminal illnesses of her own, Rosie M. Butler decided to dedicate her time and efforts to raising funds for the medical commun
ity. Over the last 23 years, Ms.
Butler has raised over $10million toward this effort and has become a veritable force in fundraising in Birmingham, Alabama. A former model for Ebony Fashion Fair, Butler worked as a Realtor in Jackson, Mississippi managing her own business and becoming recognized as one of the top realtors in Jackson. Butler moved to Birmingham in 1987 and was the Bookkeeper/Assistant for the Birmingham Festival of Arts.
Butler founded the Alabama Chapter of the American Liver Foundation in 1991. Over the next 15 years, she led fundraising efforts resulting in over $8.5 million for liver disease research and initiatives. Butler also served on the Executive Committee of the National Board of the American Liver Foundation from 1991-1995 and was responsible for all 25 chapters nationwide, even testifying before the United States Congress with Coach Tom Landry on behalf of the American Liver Foundation.
In 2005, Butler started the fundraising arm of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Liver Center, serving as the Chairperson of the Host Committee for the next 3 years and raising over $800,000 for the Liver Center. The efforts of Ms. Butler resulted in the UAB Board of Trustees’ establishment of the “Rosie M. Butler Endowed Support Fund for Viral Hepatitis in 2008. That was just a sample of Mrs. Butlers astonishing resume.
With all of those accolades Rosie Butler and Donna Dukes (founder and executive director of Maranathan Academy) joined forces to not only support the critically at risk youth in Birmingham all the while making fashion a focus. One of the highlights of the afternoon was getting to see Dr. Jacqueline Waters better know to the world as Dr. Jackie from Bravo TV’s Married to Medicine receive the Angel Award for her “50 Shades of Pink Foundation ‘ which pays tribute to men and women diagnosed with cancer.
Grammy nominated recording artist Alvin Garrett sang to the eager crowd as we awaited the first runway presentation of the afternoon. Soon after models began to hit the runway with the latest Fall trends from Ishi Boutique and Gus Mayer Birmingham. Mrs Butler enlisted some of her model friends from the Ebony Fashion Fair to model the looks for the day.
Soon after the runway show began !
One of my takeaways from attending this event is that no matter where you come from , no matter where you start in life , with amazing people around you nothing is impossible. Mrs. Rosie has definelty set a trend in myself to never take no for an answer, to never forget where I come from , to always push the culture and to always help our fellow man. Thank you Mrs. Rosie for showing us all the way !