By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Special Interest | Issue: August 2010
The theme of the 13th annual Back-to-School Style Show and Brunch, benefitting the Owasso Baptist Home for Children, is “Up, Up & Away – Soaring to New Heights.”
It’s almost time for the return of school buses, books, pencils and days filled with learning new things. Any kid will tell you what that means – now is the time to start thinking about back-to-school shopping! For a fun way to check out the latest trends and support a great group of local kids, mark your calendar for August 7 at 10:30 a.m., when the Owasso Campus of the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC) will hold its annual Back-to-School Style Show and Brunch at the Renaissance Hotel in Tulsa. The theme for the 13th annual event is “Up, Up & Away – Soaring to New Heights.” All proceeds will benefit the children who reside at OBHC’s Owasso Campus.
According to Donna Brooks, regional development coordinator, the style show began with around 100 people, and now attracts about 1,400 people each year. “The Back-to-School Style Show enables the children who live at the Owasso Campus to have nice clothing for church, school and activities. It is also an opportunity for them to shine and be the center of attention,” Donna explains.
Lois Schara, assistant administrator, agrees, saying the children’s boost in confidence is the best part of the event: “It’s wonderful seeing the kids feel the love of the crowd. This event is special for them because not only do they get brand-new clothes, they actually get to model in a real fashion show. One of our girls last year thought she would be terrified, but as soon as she stepped onstage she felt at ease because everyone in the crowd was smiling, clapping and cheering for her.”
Prior to the style show, the children enjoy a whole day of shopping and selecting outfits. “Mr. Dennis Hix, manager of Dillard’s in Promenade Mall, opens his store to us. The kids spend the day picking out their new clothes, and employees explain the popular styles and trends for the school year,” says Donna. “The outfits are modest, yet fashionable. The first organizers of this event realized how important it is for these kids to feel like they fit in with their classmates.”
Cheer on the children of the Owasso Campus as they model their new clothes at the annual OBHC style show.
The Style Show’s mistress of ceremonies, back by popular demand, will be LeAnne Taylor of KOTV Channel 6. The guest speaker is Mike Nomura, who will share his experience as a former resident at OBHC’s Boy’s Ranch Town. Mike went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in psychology and religion from OBU and Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Coming full circle, he joined OBHC in 1974 as the administrator of the Owasso Campus, where he oversaw much growth and development over the next 14 years. Mike and his wife Debbie are the founders of the Heritage Family Services.
In conjunction with the style show is OBHC’s paper doll project. A small group such as a Sunday school class or community group may “outfit” a child for $200. “Enlarged paper boy and girl figures are available, along with clothing that can be cut out and placed on as groups raise enough funds. This year, our paper dolls have a new contemporary design,” says Lois.
The mission of OBHC is to help children become capable, caring Christian adults by sharing Christ’s love and providing hope and homes for children. Children live at OBHC for a variety of reasons; often it is because they had been living in an environment that was not conducive to their success, such as parent drug abuse or living in poverty. The Owasso Campus offers family-style living in a cottage for eight children, with a married couple serving as house parents.
The organization began in 1903, when Baptists in Indian Territory established the Baptist Orphan’s Home. What began as a small orphanage in a one-story residence is today a diverse ministry consisting of four residential campuses, a maternity home, and three Hope Pregnancy Centers. Thousands of women, children and families have found comfort, love and hope through what is now Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.
Tickets to the Back-to-School Style Show and Brunch are available for $16 each, or you may purchase a table of ten for $160. Advance tickets are required. Please call (918) 272-2233 for more information.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.