Local United Way supporters have a ball for iEmpower youth program

by Jim Boyle

Editor

Of the 210 people who turned out for the Fourth Annual “Spring Into Color” Fashion Show, they got all they bargained for and more.

Twenty-seven models from local businesses and governmental organizations pranced, twirled, sauntered and glided up and down a runway lined with judges Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton.

Photos by Jim Boyle Deb Urista, a major supporter of Sherburne County Area United Way through her Coldwell Banker Vision real estate office, was the winner of the fashion show with her creative promotion of iEmpower.

Photos by Jim Boyle
Deb Urista, a major supporter of Sherburne County Area United Way through her Coldwell Banker Vision real estate office, was the winner of the fashion show with her creative promotion of iEmpower.

Well, the judges were actually Kevin Bergstrom of Coldwell Banker Vision dressed as Green, Dusty Bredlow of The Bank of Elk River dressed as Levine, and Annie Deckert and Tim Dolan of Decklan Group dressed as, respectively, Aguilera and Shelton. Between segments of the fashion show, the judges danced for the crowd at the Crown Room in Rogers.

“It was high energy from start to end,” said Joy Nadeau, the executive director of the Sherburne County Area United Way and member of the Women’s Leadership Council that organizes the event.

Judges reacted to the models various tactics to score points. The judges were Dusty Bredlow of The Bank of Elk River dressed as Adam Levine,  Kevin Bergstrom of Coldwell Banker Vision dressed as Cee Lo Green, and Annie Deckert and Tim Dolan of Decklan Group dressed as Christina Aguilera and  Blake Shelton.

Judges reacted to the models various tactics to score points. The judges were Dusty Bredlow of The Bank of Elk River dressed as Adam Levine, Kevin Bergstrom of Coldwell Banker Vision dressed as Cee Lo Green, and Annie Deckert and Tim Dolan of Decklan Group dressed as Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton.

Maurices, Target, Banana Republic and GAP provided the clothing.

Nadeau said the number of attendees was up from last year, and the money raised from the event that will go toward iEmpower is still being tabulated. The dessert auction brought in $2,000 on its own, though.

Deb Urista, the last model to make the trek from the dressing room up and down the runway won top model honors with her creative promotion of iEmpower.

She carried a blueberry-colored exercise ball emblazoned with iEmpower on the front of the ball, which she held above her head as she swayed to the background music.

“It was wonderfully creative,” Nadeau said of the judges top pick.

Other models took different tacks, including one who juggled balls, another who made bubbles and one who flexed muscles after shedding his shirt.

“It was fun, but we want to tone it down a bit,” Nadeau said of Aaron DuRose’s show of strength. “That’s not quite what we’re going for with the event.”

iEmpower is a youth program benefiting schools in Elk River, Princeton, Zimmerman, Otsego and Big Lake The program is for students in grades K-12.

The students in the program are said to be at risk of falling through the cracks, as they are students who don’t receive special attention at school who could benefit from developing stronger communications skills and getting a boost of self-reliance and self-confidence.

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