Thursday, July 2, 2020
Twisting and Turning Through This Winter’s Fashions
Steve Linden, Ron Wentzell, Tim Silva, Craig Aberbach and Chris Koch joined Teresa Beahen Lipman behind the bar.
Tuesday, November 19, 2019



Helen Chenoweth tried to think back on the Miss America pageants she’d seen over her lifetime as she prepared for her own debut on the runway.

She visualized the moves she’d seen, much as a ski racer visualizes the turns he or she will make. Then she thought how she might use a few of them as she stepped out in front of a sell-out crowd of 160 cheering women awaiting a glimpse of this winter’s fashions.

You didn’t need to be one of the models to be glamorous for the evening, as Nicole Brass, Calista Martin, Elizabeth Tierney, Suzan Stommel, Joanne Brand, Teri Szombathy and Jeffra Syms showed.

“I don’t know what I’m doing really,” smiled the silver-haired woman. “But I do think it’ll be fun. I’ll just put on an outfit, do a couple twists and turns. I like the idea of looking more natural.”

Chenoweth was among several models who took part in The Senior Connection’s annual Fashion + Wine show this past week at The Senior Connection, which had been elegantly attired with black table cloths and candles.

Lisa Patterson of The Wildflower supplied the fashions—racks full of Mauritius leather jackets, colorful  embroidered Johnny Was Jade jackets and ice blue tops over Sarah Albright jeans.

The Senior Connection’s Erik Olson served up an array of tantalizing hors d’oeuvres, including salmon, chicken satay and a colorful salad boasting chunks of squash and brie cheese.

Noelle Hodge Willis and Chris Koch bookend the models Melanie Hodge, Kaz Thea, Donna Doan, Mia Oelerich, Helen Chenoweth, Tory O’ Connor, Mardi Shepard and Theresa Espedal

And a few good men, including Ron Wentzell, Tim Silva, Craig Aberbach and Chris Koch, stepped in to serve Ghost Pines wine.

Model Mardi Shepard arrived with two large bags of shoes slung over her shoulders—ready to match any dress she modeled. And Maria Ibarra, Emilee Lizarraga and Lexie Warner went to work applying makeup to the models, a few who admitted it was a new experience for them since they never wear makeup.

“It’s terrifying,” quipped probation officer Teresa Espedal, as she went under the makeup artist’s blush brush.

 “I’m out of comfort zone, but I’m doing this for my Mom. I’ll do anything for my Mom,” she said in a nod to her mother Barb Espedal, a longtime staff member at The Senior Connection.

Senior Connection Director Teresa Beahen Lipman with her daughter Lizzie and Barb Espedal’s granddaughter Liv.

This year’s fashions boast a lot of winter whites, said Patterson.

“Of course, we’re in a casual valley so I have an array of comfortable casual sophisticated,” she added.

Fashions included a gorgeous reversible flannel jacket that boasted hints of blood orange and magenta  colored flowers on one side. Leopard spots and abstract Sanctuary Animal prints were also in the mix.

“A lot of it is about no rules,” said Noelle Hodge Willis, who organized the evening’s show. “In our culture, it all works. We don’t need any parameters matching this to that. We just need to go for it!”

Executive Director Teresa Beahen Lipman called the event a smashing success and "by far one of the craziest nights we have all year.".

"Lisa Patterson, Noelle and their team are remarkable and we just love and adore them.  Chris Koch is more than a hoot as MC with Noelle.  The models are as gorgeous on the inside as they are on the outside," she said. "This event has sold out for the past two years and we welcome the opportunity to bring women to the center that perhaps may not otherwise have a reason to come here.  I hope they see something on the walls of the dining room or hear a remark from myself, my co-workers or a fellow table-mate that they say to themselves “This just might be the place I would like to get involved with.”




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