Dressed for success at Easter fashion show

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Ernestine Hayes strutted the runway like a true fashion model Sunday, showing off her Easter dress and bonnet.

“Always elegant,” emcee Ophelia Averitt said as Hayes made her way down a red carpet.

Hayes was one of several models at the Dressed for Success and Beyond fashion show held at the Wesley Temple AME Zion Church in Akron. The event raised money for college students who need help buying books.

With piano music playing in the background, the models showed off their best Easter wear as the quick-witted Averitt dropped one-liners left and right.

“Oh, I wish I could get to that size,” she remarked as one of the models made her way down the runway.

As the handsome J. Preston Stewart made an appearance in a light blue sports coat, she let fly: “There are some things you don’t even have to talk about. Just look at him.”

Then, as Charlie Rumph walked the carpet, she made sure to inform the women in the audience that he was single and not poor.

The event included ministry, comedy and songs. There also was a special dinner prepared. But the real focus was fashion. Easter Sunday served as the perfect day for a show because it’s a celebration when people enjoy wearing their finest outfits.

Hat show committee chair Anita Goins said it all starts with the hat.

“And you coordinate everything around the bonnet,” she said. “It’s wonderful because then you get to show off your bonnet, your outfit and prance and say, ‘Thank you, Lord.’ And you think you’re beautiful.”

Of course, Averitt suggested that there’s something just as important to coordinate with a fancy dress and hat — a smile.

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or


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