one of Akinsaya's Maryland-based L-Shandi designs
Washington, D.C. is a mecca of power which stems from both men and women.Â But how often do you meet these strong, independent, successful women and forget that they are MOMS too?Â For me, quite often.Â Last Friday, September 30th, several of said power moms were celebrated and showcased in a charity fashion show held at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.Â There they joined host Lara Akinsanya for the inaugural “Runway Moms for a Cause” (RMFAC) to present an impactful intersection of philanthropy and fashion at its best. Labeled a visual fashion statement for Global Goodwill, RMFC is a runway show for philanthropists to take a stance on an often overlooked issue, and lend a helping hand towards a solution. The black-tie event gathered the support of influential local area mothers to help raise funds for the United for Kids Foundation (UKF) – Â a 501c3 organization committed to fighting poverty and illiteracy through education and social welfare programs in Nigeria.Â The RMFAC was recognized by the Embassy of Nigeria as the opening event to the Nigerian Independence Day celebrations.
Guests participated in a silent auction during a cocktail hour that featured original artwork, sent from Nigeria, by the benefitting orphans depicting their life goals and dreams followed by the main runway presentation that featured participating mothers dressed in one-of-a-kind designs by Akinsaya’s Maryland-based L-Shandi fashion collection complimented with jewelry provided by Christine Hanes of Fezelry Designs.
Participants included Master of Ceremonies Maureen Umeh, FOX 5DC Emmy award winning anchor, Aba Kwawu, Founder, The Aba Agency, Jessica McFadden, Founder, top online DC Metro areaÂ Mom site “A Parent in Silver Spring”, Kelly Collis, Tommy Show on Fresh 94.7, Founder, City Shop Girl, Maimah Karmo, Founder, Tigerlily Foundation, Rebecca Cooper, Anchor, WJLA Channel 7, Maggy Francois, Fashion Design Director, West Potomac Academy, Tanya Dallas-Lewis, Musician and Journalist, Christine Brooks-Cropper, President, Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce, Chichi Emeson, Executive Director, Miss Nigeria in America, Inc., Natalie Jobity, President, Ã‰lan Image Management, Mia Redrick, Owner, Finding Definitions, Kristie Hale, CEO, Impulse Design Group, Inc., Susi DuPuis, Personal Assistant to CEO & CFO of BP Alternative Energy North America, Monique Lighart, Realtor, Long and Foster, Neneh Diallo, Director of Communications, Millennium Challenge Corporation and Christhel Barron, PR & Events coordinator at LJ Bamboo, Doyin Daramola-Boatin, Doctor of Pharmacy, Dekalb Medical Hospital.
Other VIP guests included His Excellency Ambassador and Mrs. Adebowale Ibidapo Adefuye, Head of Chancery I.F. Ajadi and Monister E. Asuquo, Tope Dada of United for Kids Foundation, Sam Carradine of the Peace Corp Nigeria Alumni Association, Christine Warnke, Tommy McFly, Miss Universe Ghana Awurama Simpson, performers from the Star Makers Academy and singer Tanya Dallas-Lewis.
Tommy McFly and Kelly Collis (Kelly wears L-Shandi)
Maimah Karmo, Founder, Tigerlily Foundation
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions.
She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.