Inaugural Fashion Show: A Night of Glamour, Style, and Philanthropy

Olivia Lupoli accepts the award of Biggest Benefactor. Photo by Andrew Elder of Best Frame Forward.

At the beginning of May, Macy’s Crossgates and Crossgates Mall teamed up with BBBSCR to support one-to-one youth mentoring throughout the greater Capital Region. On Thursday, May 2, BBBSCR Littles and Bigs modeled the latest fashions at the inaugural “Little Stars Big Styles Fashion Show.” This exciting event, the second of three fundraising events celebrating BBBSCR’s 60th Anniversary year, showcased the latest fashion trends modeled by seventeen Big/Little matches for an audience gathered not only to celebrate style and elegance but also to champion a cause that lies at the heart of BBBSCR’s mission – empowering the potential within every child in the Capital Region. Attendees had the opportunity to witness the confidence and style of our Littles (and their Bigs) as they graced the runway in support of BBBSCR mentoring programs. The show was a symbol of hope, resilience, and possibility and each stride down the runway represented a journey of growth, confidence, and empowerment for our Littles.


This year’s event introduced Big Benefactors – professionals from across the Capital Region who were competing to raise the most funds to sponsor their modeling match for their program participation for the year. The winner of our 2024 Big Benefactor competition, receiving the title of Biggest Benefactor with a grand total raised of $2,803.08, was Olivia Lupoli from Meier Law PLLC. THANK YOU so much, Olivia! We are also so grateful for our other Big Benefactors (in show order): Roberto Nunez, Morgan Reed, Tyler Kuznia, Caron O’Brien Crummey, Trent Griffin-Braaf, Dora Phillip, Andrew Elder, Ryan Smithson, Michael Russell, James Rubino, Shea Butler, Andre Goodbee, Carter Haydock, Kayla Anderton, Kate Morgan, and Christina Farinacci-Roberts.


Guests were treated to a lively atmosphere with tunes provided by DJ HollyW8D, setting the stage for an unforgettable evening of glamour and entertainment. The event also featured Chea-Aria “coco” Brown as emcee, refreshments by Business for Good Catering, beverages by Rage Cakes, hair styling by The Shop of 7, and photography by the talented Andrew Elder of Best Frame Forward. BBBSCR Events Committee Chairperson Lauren Valentine played a key role in the success of the event and many other helping hands made the event possible. And, John Carl of Pollard Bryan & Carl issued a matching challenge of $5,000 to those in attendance and helped BBBSCR to raise an additional $10,000 to cap off the night!


“We were thrilled to introduce the ‘Little Stars Big Styles Fashion Show’ as a new and exciting addition to our calendar of events,” said Lea Montalto-Rook, Chief Executive Officer of BBBSCR. “This event not only celebrated the style and confidence of our Bigs and Littles but also provided crucial support for our summer programming, ensuring that we can continue to empower and inspire youth throughout the Capital Region.”


This event was hosted at the lower level of Crossgates in front of the Macy’s Crossgates store. “We were excited to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region for the ‘Little Stars Big Styles Fashion Show.’ Macy’s Crossgates Mall is committed to supporting our local community, and we were honored to host an event that celebrates mentorship, style, and philanthropy. We look forward to future evenings of fashion and fundraising in support of BBBSCR’s impactful programs.” said Erika Salter, Store Manager, Macy’s Crossgates.


Thank you to our generous corporate partners including: ACE Cleanouts, Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC, Community Resource Federal Credit Union, DeAngelus Goralczyk PLLC, Mark Thomas Men’s Apparel, Optimus One, Pioneer Bank, and Pollard Bryan & Carl.


Thank you to our In Kind Sponsors:

The Shop on 7, Hair
Emma Apa, Taylor Bronson, Jennifer Moule, Macy’s Staff, Makeup
Chea-Aria “coco” Brown, Emcee
DJ Hollyw8d, Entertainment
Mell Meus, Runners/Dressers
Best Frame Forward, Photography
Camelot Print & Copy Centers, Printing
Rage Cakes, Beverages
Business for Good Catering, Catering
Erika Salter, Store Manager, Macy’s Crossgates
Amy Volmer, Visual Team Lead, Macy’s Crossgates
Macy’s Crossgates & Crossgates Mall, Venue


Thank you to our Silent Auction Donors:

Best Fitness
Best Frame Forward
The Collector’s Friend
Fort Orange Brewing
Hot Spot Yoga
Macy’s Crossgates
Nude Dwellings
Rage Cakes
Rejuva Center
Spa Mirbeau
Sweat Spot Fitness
Vent Fitness
Yoga with Lian, LLC


Read more about this fabulous event in our Fashion Show Program!


Enjoy select photos of our participating matches below! Check out event photos from Andrew Elder of Best Frame Forward in the Times Union’s SEEN Gallery. Full photo galleries have been posted to our Facebook page.