This past Saturday, guests gathered to honor our service members and enjoy an evening of fun and fashion as Luke’s Wings hosted their fifth annual Fashion Takes Flight. at Arena Stage in D.C. The goal of Luke’s Wings is to raise funds for travel expenses for families of wounded warriors in military hospitals, so that our wounded warriors can be with their loved ones during such a difficult time. By incorporating wounded warriors, veterans and active duty service members into the evening’s fashion show, the guests saw the individuals impacted by the Luke’s Wings mission.
Fashion Takes Flight hosted more than 300 guests ( including 100 VIPs plus VIP seats for wounded warriors and their dates) from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. All service members were given free makeovers courtesy of Take 5 Boutique and the Hair Lounge in Cleveland Park. Through pop-up boutiques and ticket sales the evening raised more than $20,000, though final numbers are not confirmed.
There were 12 wounded warriors walking in the high-energy fashion show, six males and six females, including motivational speaker and veteran Justine Constantine, double amputee USMC Jessie Fletcher and Guy Whidden, a veteran 101st Airborne paratrooper. It was a fun evening filled with music, high spirits and the stunning creations of designer Crystal Jo.
Lindsay Kin, Executive Director for Business Development for Luke’s Wings, stated, “While it is certainly fun, and getting the veterans and wounded warriors out on the catwalk is always incredibly inspiring, the bigger picture is that our fundraisers are all essential to keeping our mission well-funded.”
A highlight of the Fashion Takes Flight evening was when Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, a quadruple amputee, was honored. The commemoration brought the crowd to tears, and Travis made meaningful remarks. View the video here.
Lindsay Kin noted that with the overseas wars winding down, there may be the misconception that the need to support our wounded warriors is be less important. However, Luke’s Wings is ramping up fundraising even more in the coming year. The issue is still extremely relevant, and Luke’s Wings hopes that individuals will donate online, and companies or major donors will contact the organization and participate in corporate giving.