Doing it all for charity

Published 10:09am Friday, October 19, 2012

The belief that one should make an effort to leave a community better than the way one found it is a reason I enjoy doing benefits.
Generally, these are stand-up performances for everything from Habitat to Humanity to Red Cross, Mobil Meals to women’s shelters and, recently, for a change, I’ve been delighted to offer book signings, donating back a substantial portion of sales. All of these things are enjoyable, fund great causes, and I look forward to them.
Until my friend, PJ, called.
“Pam, Kelley and I are putting on a benefit fashion show at the Piedmont Club in Spartanburg next week and were wondering if you would consider being involved.”
“Well, sure, I love you guys.” I replied, making a vain attempt to multitask and finish an email as we chatted. “Do you need me to emcee?”
“Not this time,” PJ (or ‘Peej,’ as Kelley calls her) said. “Nancy Welch is going to help us with that. We’d like you to model.”
My fingers skidded to a stop on the keyboard.
“Model?” my palms were already growing clammy. “You don’t want me to model. Let me be a ‘special guest,’ or something. Let me introduce Nancy!”
“With your height, you’ll be perfect.” PJ countered. “Plus, you’re so slim!”
“It takes more than being tall and skinny to be a model,” I protested. “Otherwise, Lurch would be on the cover of Vogue.”
But they were having none of it. Doubtfully, I arrived at their shop the following morning to play Cinderella as Kelley brought me armfuls of outfits to wriggle into- the first being a clingy, bright red number.
“It’s perfect!” she cried, hands clasped together.
“I look like a thermometer.” I muttered, appraising myself in the body-length mirror, still in my Dollar Store flipflops.

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