Peach Carr and fellow Project Runway Stars unite for JourneyCare

The love in the room was palpable for fashion designer and hometown hero Peach Carr, three of her fellow Project Runway All Stars and the nonprofit they came together to support, JourneyCare, the country’s largest non-profit organization providing hospice, home health, palliative and pediatric hospice care.

The event at Theater on the Lake on Saturday, June 29 attracted an overflow crowd for an exciting fashion show presented by All Stars of Project Runway designers Joshua Christensen, Johnathan Kayne Gillaspie, Korto Momolu, Christopher Palu and, of course, Peach!

Joe Matty, president JourneyCare Foundation, opened the show by encouraging all of the clinical team members in the audience to stand and be recognized. He said, “Right now, we have around 1500 clinicians and care members taking care of our more than 5000 patients. We’re working in Rush Hospital, Northwestern Hospital, the University of Chicago….for all of the major medical systems, JourneyCare is there… We’re a family and we take care of each other. Our promise is to meet the patient where they are, build trust and share a journey. To date, JourneyCare has never turned anyone away due to inability to pay. We offer programs that include integrative therapies (pet, massage, art and music), Jewish Care Services and our “We Honor Veterans” program. Despite the benefits of these special programs, they are not reimbursable through Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance.”

Allison Rosati, of NBC-5, served as emcee. She spoke  about her mom who passed away from ovarian cancer and lauded the hospice care she received calling it a “godsend” and the hospice nurses “angels on earth.” Event co-chairs Pamela Cramer (a JourneyCare Foundation trustee) and Elizabeth Foley (JourneyCare board member) were introduced onstage. (Peach was also a co-chair).

The fashion show, expertly produced by ZZAZZ Productions, opened with a thrilling video of Chicago created by Eric Hines. Designer Johnathan Kayne opened the show with a dramatic shocking pink evening gown delicately embellished with a crystal neckline followed by flowing gowns in bold colors. Korto Momolu’s African-inspired collection followed with short and long designs created out of luxury fabrics and mixed prints. Joshua Christensen’s designs were presented in shades of black and bright red, with a chic biker look. Christopher Palu’s sexy designs featured sparkly cocktails dresses with thigh-high black boots, gowns slit-up-to-there and plunging necklines.

The show closed with a standing ovation as Peach showed her first collection following a horrible accident that left her wondering if she would ever be able to design again. Well, this show proved she could and in spades! The audience roared as every single new design made its appearance on the runway. From colorful cocktails dresses with the Chicago skyline outlined in jet black bead-work to a chic black and white number with a big bow at the edge to a skirt with the British flag emblazoned all over it, the collection was pure Peach–whimsical, wearable, washable and on trend. When designing, Peach always asks herself, “Would Edie Sedgewick wear this?”…And the resounding answer is EVERYONE wants to wear this!

For the finale, Peach sent her longtime “bestie” Camerone Parker McCulluch down the runway wearing a form fitting sparkly, charcoal evening gown. Peach called her an “MS warrior” having been diagnosed 21 years ago with the disease.

Peach describes the emotional evening, “It was such an electric night. I brought my closest friends who I knew would bring killer fashion, camaraderie and positive energy to support JourneyCare… We all love, support and respect each other and they said yes to my appearance request on the spot. I’m recovering from an injury and this collection has been an emotional journey, bringing me new insight on my identity as a designer. The two standing ovations brought me to tears. I love Chicago.”

Peach dabbed at tears as she was escorted down the runway by her darling daughter Molly Carr, with Camerone following behind as the crowd stood and cheered.

A live auction conducted by Keith Jones (of Sayre & Jones Auctioneers) brought in over $52,000 with the event raising approximately $200,000 for the nonprofit.

It was a night I won’t soon forget and a privilege to be in the room to witness the love and support for Peach, her fellow Project Runway designers who came out on her behalf, and this most deserving nonprofit.

For 40 years, JourneyCare teams have served patients and families living with advanced illnesses so that each may live with dignity and comfort.

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