Fil-Am Designer Showcases Challenged Athlete Models at the “Race for a Reason” Fashion Show Fundraiser Event
OAKLAND, CA- San Francisco Bay Area Fashion design company, GB Shrive Designs, hosted a fundraising fashion show and sports expo at the Oakland Zoo Snow Building. GB Shrive Designs is founded, created and owned by Fil-Am fashion designer Gail Ballesteros-Shrive from Tracy, California.
GB Shrive Designs chooses different charity and athletic events to support every year. The charity they focused on this year is CAF (Challenged Athletes Foundation) supporting athletes for the San Diego Triathlon Challenge in October 18, 2015. The Challenge Athletes Foundation (CAF) is an organization that provides opportunities and support to people with physical challenges, so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. CAF believes that involvement in sports at any level, increases self-esteem, encourages independence, and enhances quality of life.
“CAF is a great organization. We stress out about a lot of things and it’s not even as bad as what these people have gone through, you know? And I do half-marathons and I complain about my knees and all that. But these guys do triathlon and some of them do ultra-marathons as well. And they’re doing it with just one leg. It just amazes me that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE especially for us – so why whine about it? GO FOR IT,” says the Olympic Distance Triathlon first timer.
The designer came up with the idea of doing this fashion show fundraiser when she learned about CAF from one of her good friends, Ruvi Calonsag-De Guzman. “My dear friend Gail is an avid Marathon runner with her husband Damon Shrive. I met Gail through another fundraiser for heavens door Cancer foundation, and I am on the Board of Directors. We immediately felt connected and became close friends. Since Gail does a few major events and donates proceeds to nonprofit organizations, I had been sending her newsletters about CAF. My son Jordan (nickname Jay) Barcelona, age 26, was the honoree for the fundraiser race for a reason. Jay was born with a limb deficiency and his leg was amputated at birth. I have a deep knowledge of prosthetics and I am a mentor for families with disabilities in Contra Costa County. Gail and Damon were so inspired seeing how amputees thrive even despite a limb loss,” said Ruvi.
The affair started with the sports event where the sponsors showcased their health and fitness products. The guests enjoyed some healthy snacks and appetizers before the auction started and raffle prizes were given away.
Gail Shrive debuted her sports and street-wear designs modeled by both kids and adults. One of the best moments was when kid amputee, Morgan Mixon, strutted the catwalk with high energy and sass.
The guests also eagerly cheered on the other kids and were just totally entertained by the mini-models.
The highlight of the event was challenged athletes Maximus Fabrizio, Lindsay Moorehead and Kim Yu who rocked the runway and were honored at the event. The Fil-Am designer says it was a very inspirational and very personal event she has ever produced. It’s not only because they were raising funds for an amazing organization, but also it was her first Olympic Distance Triathlon with her husband, Damon Shrive, through SDTC. “…Very honored to be teaming up with some amazing Challenged Athletes like Maximus Fabrizio, Kim Yu and hopefully Lindsay Moorehead too,” Gail said.
RJ Rivera, who is also a fashion designer and amputee himself said, “I was so self conscious about being in a wheelchair that I tried never posting pictures of me in it. But after this amazing event that my dear friend Gail Ballesteros-Shrive put on, it empowered me a lot more and I am very happy that the beautiful Teresa Sinclair could join me in this! It was great to see all of you and to attend such an inspiring event!”
And this is exactly what the fashion show fundraiser is all about: INSPIRING and EMPOWERING PEOPLE.
GB Shrive Designs plan to hold a series of fashion shows this year to raise more funds for their triathlon team racing this fall.