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Mace & Crown | April 22, 2018

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Dress for Success Hampton Roads Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Dress for Success Hampton Roads Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Kim Bering
Staff Writer

On Oct. 14, local nonprofit  business Dress for Success recognized their 10th anniversary by celebrating with their  “Giving Beyond the Suit” gala. The successful evening included several recognitions and thanks, a fashion show and a few personal testimonies from women whose lives have drastically changed because of this business.


Dress for Success is a globally run business that has functioned  right here in Hampton Roads since Jan. 2006. Their goal is to break the chain of poverty and distress in women that  desire to pursue a new life and profession. Over 3,000 women have been successfully helped in just the last 10 years. This business not only clothes women professionally  but also implants a vision of confidence and hope in their lives.


The evening’s ceremony began with a blessing over the food by Reverend Tyrone Jackson Jr. of First Baptist Church as the guests took hands. Then,  Bob Dandrige, honorary chair member, welcomed the audience by thanking them for their support. He also praised his wife, executive and co-founder Debra Dandridge and said, “She has been the driving force,” in regards to the company.


The evening followed  with a fashion show  presented by  Chico’s at MacArthur Center Mall . 10 women whose lives have been impacted by Dress for Success confidently strutted across the stage in the “zenergy” collection of lounge and active wear. One of those women’s stories told was that of  Mary Irwin.


“I went from being homeless to owning a home,” Irwin beamed with pride as she informed the audience of the impact Dress for Success had on her life. She left an abusive community with three children under the age of six. She had yet to know about what sort of empowering influence this company would have on her family’s life.


Several women were recognized as “10 Prominent Women,” for the company. First lady at Old Dominion University  Kate Broderick was thanked as well.  The Dress for Success ambassadors were thanked for their contributions  and support that have helped impact   the business .


One of those women, Marian Ticatch, helped found Dress for Success. She reminisced on an impactful quote that an executive director from New York said to her once, “A suit is a suit unless you don’t have one.” This single phrase continues to inspire her goodwill and positivity.


Ticatch expounded on the importance of  passing on the skill of dressing well, in addition to initiating a change in women’s lives. “If we don’t pass it onto them, we’re not doing our job as women and people,” Ticatch said . Dress for Success goes above and beyond to provide for the many women that need assistance.


The ceremony came to a close as Dandrige and fellow co-founder and director  Antoinette Haynes expressed their deepest gratitude to the audience.  Although their ambition that drives this company every day  was very understated, their humility and love for the women that come  to Dress for Success humbled the audience.


Dandridge, Haynes and many other passionate people impact women’s lives on a daily basis. Even if they did not take pride for their own actions, the audience recognized it. A surprise thank you was also made to them with a large bouquet or flowers, along with monstrous applause from the audience.


Dress for Success’s empowering business has transformed over 10,000 women’s lives and plans to continue and help  more. Their goal is to continue making a difference and to empower  women for them to be properly equipped through  life’s struggles. Dress for Success aims to not only assist women with their physical appearance but strives to assist in building confidence as well.