While the majority may agree that shopping sprees are a hedonistic pastime, this was not the case at the Barter Babes Brunch Bash that took place at Café Hidalgo. If you noticed a giddy concourse of well-heeled fashionistas with overstuffed pink totes spilling over with clothes, shoes, handbags, and/or accessories, they were all indulging together in the name of a good cause. Cross our bras and hope to die.
In the simplest of terms, Barter Babes is a clothing swap party. A few weeks prior, revelers raid their own closets (or their siblings’ or friends’ closets) and put aside almost new or never worn items for contribution. At its heart, Barter Babes is a fundraising effort for the WTLC (Women’s Transitional Living Center), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals and families escape the depths of domestic violence and exploitation. The event has grown immensely from its inception in 2009 and has become one of the most sought after tickets in town. This year, the invitation only extravaganza had such an outpouring of RSVPs, many had to be put on a waiting list. Sorry ladies, there’s always 2014.
Café Hidalgo’s event manager, Dena Bravo-David, was gracious enough to welcome Barter Babes back for its second year in the restaurant. With clothing and accessory donations from all the attendees and the ingenuity of the pink apron crew, the typically Latin-inspired dining establishment was magically transformed into a fabulous boutique. In between browsing the racks, guests were lavishly regaled with free-flowing champagne and a daintily laid out brunch spread.
In a tearful speech and on a more serious note, co-organizers Cristal Drake and Kelli Domery-Guecia emphasized the giving aspect of Barter Babes and the importance of supporting the WTLC. They also took the opportunity to thank all of the donors, volunteers and guests for continuing to return every year. Generous donations by local businesses, including bountiful gift baskets, were raffled off and the anticipating crowd was finally let loose into the shopping emporium.
Aside from the thousands of dollars successfully raised for WTLC, a huge truckload of the remaining clothes on the racks were also brought over to the noble organization. For more information, to donate, or to get involved visit www.wtlc.org. Don’t miss the next Barter Babes event by liking their Facebook page here to stay updated.
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