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Dress for Success

Concerned about Denver's homeless youth? You could stand on the 16th Street Mall and hand out cash to loitering teens. But doesn't spending your afternoon enjoying art and fashion in a sumptuous tea room sound like tons more fun?

The second annual Save Our Children She She High Tea, Fashion Show and Block Party Art Show comes to Oak & Berries Tea Room on Saturday, May 3, with proceeds benefiting Denver Public Schools' Educational Homeless Outreach program. Organizers hope to raise cash -- lots of it -- for the burgeoning population of destitute kids.

Kim Vela, DPS liaison for the homeless, says the program, in place since 1989, helps hundreds of children each year by providing them with clothing, hygiene products, school supplies, bus tokens -- whatever they need to stay in school, gain an education and escape the cycle of poverty. "When kids' primary needs aren't met, learning can't occur," explains Vela. "We strive to help meet some of these basic needs to give kids the tools they need to be successful."


Save Our Children She She High Tea, Fashion Show and Block Party Art Show

3-7 p.m. Saturday, May 3
Oak regular, $35 (two for $60); tickets at the door are $40
For information, call 303-320-4909

Funding is scant, so Vela seeks grants and plans fundraising events like the She She High Tea to scare up additional cash. The more money raised, the more children served. "If we get a phone call and we have the money, we can help," says Vela.

You can help, too -- just by showing up on Saturday.

For the fashion-show portion of the event, local clothing designer Crystal Sharp and her She She boutique crew will strut their collective stuff: evening wear, Asian-inspired jackets and more, all featuring Sharp's signature romantic fabrics. If your frilly, shopaholic sister was attending an heiress pal's garden soiree, this is what she'd wear.

Scores of amateur and professional artists will also display their work: Each piece is a six-by-six-inch block of wood that's been painted, sketched upon or incorporated into sculpture. The art will have been pre-judged by a panel of local artists, with winners scoring either month-long space at Knox Gallery or KW Gallery, or goods from Golem Fine Framing.

A decidedly modern "high tea" will accompany the festivities. Expect little sandwiches and hors d'oeuvres, as well as an open bar with non-traditional cocktails that feature splashes of Tanqueray or Grand Marnier -- two of the event's sponsors.

So, sipping gin and bidding on art is all it takes? Give till it helps.


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