Perfect pairs: peanut butter and jelly … peanut butter and bananas … but, peanut butter and fashion shows? Hmmm … not so much. Nevertheless, if you want to know what prompted Liesl Beck to start the PROPerly Poised fashion show four years ago, you must start with peanut butter. The fashion show is billed as the only event of its kind in the Southwest Metro area, and it is almost certainly the only fashion show, anywhere, that owes its existence to peanut butter.
Four years ago, Beck was the human resources director for the Bernard Group. The company collected peanut butter to donate to People Reaching Out to People’s (PROP) food shelf to support a summer program to get meals to kids, who rely on subsidized school lunches during the school year. Beck took the peanut butter to PROP and learned about its mission. She quickly realized that there something more she could do to support PROP. The fashion show was born.
The PROP food shelf helps folks in the Southwest Metro when paycheck-to-paycheck comes up a little short. (Its financial service area helps those in Eden Prairie and Chanhassen.) Kelli Steidle, PROP marketing director, says that even though there is a lot of affluence in the local communities, there are also people who struggle. “If you work here, that may not mean you can afford to live here,” Steidle says. “Our data tells us that the average monthly cost of living for a family of four (in the community) is $4,500. The average household income of a PROP client family is $2,000. That’s a big hole.”
Families, who are just getting by, may get hit by an unexpected expense and need a little help. “Most of the people we help are working,” she says. “Sixty two percent of our clients are employed.” PROP serves 3,400 individuals a year.
The fashion show has proven successful in supporting PROP, raising $25,000 last year, and Beck says she intends to double that amount this year. To accommodate the increasing number of attendees, this year’s show is at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The theme for the show is One Love, which Beck says speaks to “universal love and respect for all people … I want it to be about inclusion and diversity,” she says. While the fashion show is the highlight of the evening, a cocktail hour and live fund-a-need auction are also part of the festivities.
Julia Cobbs of the Lori and Julia radio show on myTalk 107.1 is the celebrity champion and emcee of this year’s event. Former state representative Jenifer Loon, who is on the PROP board, will serve as the PROP representative. “By supporting PROPerly Poised, the community comes together for what has become a ‘not to be missed’ evening while helping others in need,” she says.
Beck appreciates that she’s able to partner with locally-owned businesses, many of them woman-owned. This year, the list of local boutiques contributing clothes to show includes Evereve, Dugo, Primp, Roe Wolfe, Willa June and other local designers. “This is really a group effort to raise money for PROP,” Beck says. “We’re coming together as a team to make the event a success.”
PROPerly Poised fashion show
November 8, 7-8 p.m. (social hour), 8 p.m. (fashion show) at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska.
Tickets, including VIP tickets, can be purchased at PROPERLY-POISED-2019.eventbrite.com. (All tickets include an all-day pass to the arboretum on the day of the event.)
Attire: Fashionable best
To learn more, visit propfood.org.