story and photos by Brittany Ransom
It was a perfect ladies luncheon on Wednesday (April 23) afternoon, as more than 100 women gathered for the second annual Divas, Diamonds and Decadence event at the Fianna Hills Country Club in Fort Smith. Benefiting the Fountain of Youth Adult Day Center, the event featured fine food and fashion, and treated guests to an afternoon of shopping and silent auction bidding.
The event kicked off with a gourmet lunch, complete with delicious desserts and treats. After making their way through the buffet line, guests were seated at tables topped with pink diamond decor and decadent chocolate favors.
Clear Channel's Maverick got the fashion show underway, serving as the afternoon's Master of Ceremonies. Volunteers modeled the latest trends from local boutiques Gallivanting and Hazel's Heaven. The models made their way throughout the dining room showing off beautiful dresses, tops, bottoms, jewelry, and purses. Outfits included attire suitable for vacation getaways, nights on the town, brunch with the girls, and other popular looks of the season.
Fountain of Youth Executive Director Kristi Graham thanked the models and the crowd for their support and explained that one lucky winner at each table would get to take home the one-of-a-kind art that was also included at each centerpiece.
"At our center, we encourage clients to create art from what they see," said Graham. "For some, particularly those with Alzheimer's and other diseases, their perspective is truly unique and that comes across in the work you see before you."
Following the lunch and fashion show, guests made their way over to the shopping area to browse the numerous vendor booths, which featured apparel, jewelry, home decor, and more. Many ladies also placed their final bids in the silent auction, which included gift certificates, art, accessories and other unique items.
Tickets for the lunch were $35. Proceeds support the Fountain of Youth Adult Day Center, which serves as a "safe haven and loving refuge" for caregiver families. The organization gives seniors and other dependent adults in its care a place to attend where they can enjoy stimulating activities and interaction. The center also provides nutritious meals for its clients, and a family-friendly environment, while giving caregivers much needed breaks from caring for their loved ones.
"Last year was our first year to host the Divas, Diamonds and Decadence luncheon and we raised about $2,500 from it," said Graham. "Our goal is to raise at least $3,000 this year."
The luncheon and the Bootlegger's Ball, which Fountain of Youth hosted earlier this year, will serve as the catalyst to what Graham and the board hope will be a successful capital campaign for a new building.
"We are desperately in need of a bigger space," said Graham. "We really need a building so that we can better serve our clients and run our programs."
For more information about Fountain of Youth, call 479-484-7782, or visit their website.