In the mid-1980’s to the early 1990’s, Central Catholic showcased the latest sartorial styles in their annual Fashion Show. The event was a fundraiser for the school and included a salad luncheon and style or runway show. The event was run by the Parents Guild and took place in the CC gym, which was decorated for the event.
“We had all the mothers help provide the luncheon – salads and desserts,” said MaDonna “Punk” Compton, who co-chaired the event for several years.
The ladies all worked hard to make the Fashion Show and Luncheon a success and to help support Central Catholic. In addition to working on the food and organizing the show and agenda, many of the mothers also make cute, crafty centerpieces that they would sell at the end of the event.
“We all worked together so much and developed lifetime friendships through all of this,” said Compton.
The event was such a success that they eventually expanded the Fashion Show to include a wine and cheese event during the evening in addition to the afternoon luncheon.
The Fashion Show & Salad Luncheon also brought in many people from the community, including local celebrities, businesses, and businessmen and women. The Parents Guild would partner with local stores and boutiques that provided the latest fashions for the event.
Sometimes the boutiques would also provide their own models for the runway, but parents, students of all ages, alumni, and local celebrities would also model the clothes for the event. Both men and women acted as models. Some of the local celebrities included the former Lafayette Mayor James Riehle and former West Lafayette Mayor Sonya Margerum, Sheila Klinker, former Purdue coach Fred Akers, Bob Rohrman, and the Purdue Golden Girl, Purdue Silver Twins, and the Purdue Varsity Cheerleaders.
“It was a lot of work, but it always a big success,” said Compton. “We had fun doing it.”
Many businessmen and businesswomen also took part in and supported the luncheon. Some would eat at CC and stay for the runway show, while some ordered carryout.
The Fashion Show would often serve 300-400 people for lunch.
In addition to the new spring fashions, one year the fundraiser also featured a historical hat review that showcased hats worn throughout different eras. And when the uniforms were introduced in 1990-1991, the Fashion Show also had students from 1st through 12th grade model the new uniforms to show what they looked like.
The Fashion Show eventually transitioned into the mother/daughter tea, but many remember the event and all the work and fun that people had putting it on.
“It was a great time,” said Compton.