Fashion show benefits Alzheimer's caregivers

TRINITY - On a large stage adorned with red curtains and fresh flowers inside the Heritage Springs Country Club, Dominick DePetrillo took the podium and welcomed more than 200 supporters of his fundraiser.

"Welcome, ladies and gentleman, and thank you for coming to our fashion show."

It was the ninth Annual Alberta's Fashion Show, named for an employee who 10 years ago came up with the idea for a fashion show to raise money for the Alzheimer's Family Organization. Alberta Beversdorf died shortly before the planning stages.

"She passed away before it came to fruition, but this is the ninth one in her memory and we are very pleased to welcome all of you," DePetrillo, the Alzheimer's group's executive director, told the crowd on Tuesday, June 11.

Last year, the fashion show raised about $10,000 to help with programs and resources for caregivers and patients with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. This year, the organization has aimed for $15,000, DePetrillo said.

The regional organization helps those affected by Alzheimer's in five counties across Florida, including Pasco, and many resources are geared toward the caregivers, who are under a great deal of stress and strain, DePetrillo said.

One of the programs gives caregivers $500 for a short getaway to unload some of the stress of caring for a loved one affected by the disease.

Nine models sporting three outfits each walked across the stage showing off summer fashions for women, courtesy of Patchington, which specializes in designer resort wear for the traveling woman. Participants also purchased prize drawing tickets and chose which gift baskets they wanted the chance to win.

Dee Etta Ferraro spent a few moments before the show poring over gift baskets with a fistful of tickets in hand. She carefully dropped tickets into the buckets placed in front of each of the baskets she liked.

"They do such good work and it's always a wonderful fashion show," said Ferraro, who has attended nearly every show.

The next fundraiser scheduled in West Pasco is a golf tournament at Seven Springs Golf Club on Saturday, Nov. 9.

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