By Marci Shatzman
A perfect afternoon for an outdoor fashion show and big announcement at HabCenter Boca Raton, where adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities train, work and learn how to lead happy and productive lives.
Nowhere was that more evident than the ‘60s fashion show with flower power and peace symbols decorating jackets and slacks. aZul Fashion, Art & Design founder/CEO Sandra Raffaelli explained how working with HabCenter clients empowers them, as they strutted their stuff wearing symbolic rose-colored sunglasses. “This is an eight-week training course on gently used garments,” she noted and narrated the show.
A responsive audience of HabCenter clients, staff and supporters cheered them on, seated in front of the center’s expansive plant nursery, where clients nurture bedding plants that are sold to commercial customers.
Apropos of the location, a Boca Chamber ribbon cutting announced a $100,000 grant from the women of Impact 100 Palm Beach County for a new hydroponics and gardening program.
HabCenter CEO Sherry Henry called the new program “transformative, and a milestone to continue to provide an opportunity for personal growth.”
“Wow,” was Boca Chamber executive vice president and HabCenter board member Sarah Pearson’s reaction to the fashion show finale where all the designers and models took a bow.
The afternoon was emceed by HabCenter CFO Daniel Owen. In the audience were city council member Fran Nachlas, HabCenter board member Emily Grabelsky, Impact 100 grant manager Rachel Lopez and members JoAnne Greiser and Janean Mileusnic.