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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

“Model” Opportunity For Military Families

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Thursday, August 11, 2005

Lida Watters, manager of a North Adams-based Fashion Bug clothing store
North Adams – The manager of a city Fashion Bug women’s and girls clothing store is extending an invitation to the wives, girlfriends, daughters, and mothers of military troops serving in Iraq.

“I really want to invite these women, and any relative, really, if they would like, to come and be a model for our September fashion show,” said Lida Watters, manager of an American Legion Drive store.

Watters said that she decided to invite the women after reading about 24 Berkshire region National Guard volunteers from 12 Berkshire communities who left the Westover Air Force base as part of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” earlier this month.

Troops from Adams, Dalton, Williamstown, Washington, and several other Berkshire towns were among a 120-member group headed toward an unspecified destination. The troops are members of Bravo Company, 181st Engineering Battalion.

Fashion shows are regular events at the city store as well as other shops affiliated with the retail chain. Models are recruited from the community and the customer base of the stores, and the shows promote the clothing offered by the company. Often, the shows are themed, for example, an upcoming Aug. 20 fashion show will feature junior-size women wearing “back-to-school” clothing. The models are not paid but are eligible for a 40 percent discount on purchases made at the store on the day of their fashion show participation.

The September show is scheduled to promote chilly-weather wear and Watters said that models of all age, shape, and size are needed. The events are “fun,” she said.

“We do have a good time, and I thought that maybe the families would like something where they could get together for something pleasant,” she said. “We take pictures, and I thought that maybe the pictures could be sent to the troops.”

Watters said that groups of women, such as neighborhood mothers and members of clubs, have participated in the shows at other stores.

The shows are clearly promotional for the store, she said.

But a chance to gather with other women and showcase fashionable attire may provide a “pleasant diversion” and the available discount may benefit families as well, she said.

“I know it’s hard when a family member has to leave [for military duty],” she said. “It can be rough financially, too. I just thought that with school starting, and the cold weather coming, and then the holidays; well, there is the discount for the models and they can put things [discounted items] on layaway. I thought that maybe some of the women would like this. I thought it might help.”

Information about the September fashion show is available by calling the store at 413-663-7435.

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush123@adelphia.net or at 802-823-9367.

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