“The Christmas Gift” Fashion Show Helping Local Families this Holiday Season

The Christmas Gift has raised over one million dollars since its start in 1990.

FARGO, N.D. — The holidays are all about giving back and spreading holiday cheer.

The organization, The Christmas Gift, embodies just that.

Each year it raises money to help a struggling family’s holiday dreams come true.

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear and tonight, The Christmas Gift is giving people a chance to listen to live music and strut their stuff all while raising money for those in need this holiday season.

“Tonight we’re doing a fashion show, which is one of the many fundraisers that does happen throughout the year to raise money for the Christmas Gift,” said board member Kristi Larkin. “Tonight at the fashion show, the first Christmas gift is presented to a family in need.”

This year’s recipient, Sue Vanyo, is battling stage IV breast cancer. Those that selected Sue say they can’t wait to see the impact this makes.

“Well it usually doesn’t leave many dry eyes in the room to be able to see what kind of impact that really has and being a part of it,” Larkin said. “Seeing families and people that we know within our community receive gifts and be able to help and support them, it really does get to the core of what the Fargo-Moorhead community is.”

“It’s such a reminder of how blessed most of are to be able to be able to provide for our families and difficult times can happen to anybody,” Hannah Sorensen, who is also a board member. “Unexpected health issues can come up and it’s really powerful when you’re able to make donations to somebody that can really change their life.”

Christmas Gift board members say the best part is seeing how former Christmas Gift recipients have given back to this organization.

“Some of them have actually ended up coming to this event,” added Sorensen. “There’s actually somebody here tonight who in the past few years was a recipient of a gift and now wanted to be able to give back, so we’re starting to see a lot of that. Families maybe at one point in time really were in need but were able to get back on their feet and now want to make that difference for another family.”

The Christmas Gift has raised over $1 million since its start in 1990.

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KVRR’s very own, anchor Alison Voorhees, took to the runway to model some winter fashions from Apricot Lane, which can be found in the West Acres Mall.

At 6, she did an extended interview with Christmas Gift board member, Kristi Larkin, and asked more about the organization.

ALISON VOORHEES: I’m here at the Christmas Gift Fashion Avenue 2017. This year’s theme of the event is Candyland and from what I’ve seen so far, it all looks pretty fun. The doors just opened at 6 p.m. People are flooding into the room behind me at the Holiday Inn. I’m joined with Kristi Larkin. She is the owner of Lauries and helps put on the event. Kristi, can you tell me a little bit about this event?

KRISTI LARKIN: Tonight is the kickoff for the Christmas Gift. It’s one of the many fundraisers that we do throughout the year. We’ve been doing this for 28 years and it is a great way to raise money for families in need. We’ve raised over $1 million over the last 28 years, providing Christmas gifts and tonight, the first Christmas Gift will be granted at this event.

AV: This is a sold-out show, so this is a hot commodity in town. Tell me a little bit about the response that you’ve seen from people in the community who want to come out and help families.

KL: This event is usually sold-out. It’s a great night of entertainment. The Blenders are here to perform. It’s a great show, lots of retailers, including myself, Apricot Lane, The Gap, Gap Kids, Hair Success, TSPA (The Salon Professional Academy), Schmidt’s GemsLaurie’s are all involved in making this happen. We’re all just grateful to be a part of it and to make wishes come true for families in need during the holiday season.

AV: You not only have the Blenders here, you guys also have a very special guest here this evening.

KL: Tonight, we have Miss America, Cara Mund, who will be joining us onstage, modeling for Laurie’s and she will be assisting and giving away one of our fabulous door prizes tonight, a fabulous fur coat.


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