potter webIt’s back! After a three-year hiatus, the Celebrity Men Fashion Event returns this month with a new organizer, a new venue, new sponsors, and a few new faces.

The 2023 Celebrity Men Fashion Event will take place at the home of one of it’s new sponsors, Formula First Collision Center at 9420 Tecumseh Rd East. The hip – some might say edgy — new venue is perfect for the resurrection and rebranding of the event. There on May 25th, a diverse roster of thirteen men from Windsor-Essex will amble and saunter down the runway. The models represent a wide array of industries and life experiences, including the winner of Amazing Race Canada, a lawyer, a physician, a firefighter, a nurse, two radio hosts, a real estate agent, a theatre producer, a business executive, two kidney transplant recipients. . . and the president of Formula First Collision himself. What unites them is a connection to kidney disease and a desire to help those living with it.

The desire to fight kidney disease is shared by sponsors who have supported the event in the past and continue to do so this year, as well as many new sponsors.

Clothing for the runway event is provided by several sponsors: formal wear by Collins and The Suit Shop Co., and casual wear by Running Factory and At Ease Men’s Apparel.
Make no mistake – aside from a zeal for fashion, there are many reasons to attend and support this fundraiser. There’s a silent auction containing a wide variety of prizes ready to be won, donated by many of the event’s sponsors. Local artists will be on hand to create new art live and in-person during the event, which patrons can purchase through the silent auction. Catering for the event is being provided by local favourite Tabouli by Eddy’s. And all of this will be held together and hosted by the MC duo of Michelle Mainwaring and Joe McParland.

The Celebrity Men Fashion Event was first held in London, Ontario, where it ran for seven or eight years before being adopted by other chapters of the Kidney Foundation of Canada – including Sarnia, Kitchener-Cambridge, and, of course, Windsor. According to Fund and Community Development Officer Shannon Van Watteghem-Levasseur, “For a while it was considered in Ontario to be a signature event”. This year the idea has begun spreading to other provinces. The Manitoba chapter held it’s first Celebrity Men Fashion Event recently, with great success.

Windsor’s version of the Celebrity Men Fashion Event was first held in 2016, then three more times annually before the pandemic forced it into hiatus. Although the annual event had always been successful, resuscitating it after a long hiatus was a daunting challenge. “When an event is annual it gains momentum,” Van Watteghem-Levasseur explains. “Because of the hiatus, it’s definitely lost that momentum.” Hence the need for a new venue, some new sponsors, and a few new twists.

After several successful years managing volunteers and raising funds for the Alzheimer’s society, Van Watteghem-Levasseur was hired by the Windsor chapter of the Kidney Foundation of Canada last August to resurrect the Celebrity Men Fashion Event. “When I first started it was one of the first events that the leadership team mentioned to me,” says Van Watteghem-Levasseur. “They wished for it to come back, so here we are. It’s been revitalized.”

The Celebrity Men Fashion Event takes place Thursday, May 25th, 6:30 PM (fashion show begins at 8:00) at Formula First Collision (9420 Tecumseh rd. E). Tickets to the Celebrity Men Fashion Event can be purchased online via https://kidney.akaraisin.com/ui/CELEBMENWIND23/tickets. Patrons can select how much they wish to donate to this worthy cause by choosing either a Single ticket for $60 or a VIP ticket for $90. The VIP ticket includes prime reserved seating, two drink tickets, and wait service during the show.

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