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'Lamplighters' brighten kids' faces through generosity

3:18 PM, Apr 1, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- How would you like to check out the hottest trends in summer fashion while also helping kids?

On Thursday, April 4, from 6 - 10 p.m., "Lights, Fashion, Hope" is taking over Saks Fifth Avenue at Westshore Plaza to raise money for children's programs at Metropolitan Ministries and Joshua House.

It's an event put on by the LAMPLighters, a group of all-volunteer, dedicated women who not only raise tens of thousands of dollars for the nonprofits each year, but are also actively involved in activities with the kids who benefit from their donations. 

They throw holiday parties and ice cream socials for the children, and provide jackets during the winter and bathing suits for the summer.

"They're like family," says Janelle Stewart, director of the PromiseLand Childcare center at Metropolitan Ministries. "They work with our kids. They're excited to be there. The kids are excited to see them."

"It's extremely rewarding, especially because Lamplighters are so involved with the kids at Metropolitan Ministries and Joshua House, and we're able to actually see the funds that are raised go into action with the children," adds Kelly Breeding, the Co-Chair of "Lights, Fashion, Hope."

This year's event will feature lots of fashion, including the chance to meet designers like Akris Punto. Saks Fifth Avenue is donating $5,000 worth of merchandise to be raffled off, including a pair of Jimmy Choos. 

"Lights, Fashion, Hope" will also have local artists and local restaurants, including Donatello, Carmel Cafe, The Palm, Mike's Pies, Aqua, Puff 'n Stuff Catering, CDB's, and Inside the Box Cafe and Catering, which is a Metropolitan Ministries Social Entrepreneurship Initiative.

All of the proceeds go to kids, along with 10 percent of purchases made that night at Saks Fifth Avenue. 

"The most important thing is that we support our Lamplighters organization,and that's what makes us so honored to be a part of this organization because it's one of our highlights of the year," says Teresa Ward, Marketing Director for Saks Fifth Avenue. 

It's a highlight for the store, the Lamplighters, and the kids.

"What they're doing with the fashion event is just more help and more support for us. We couldn't do it without them, really," Stewart says. 

"Lights, Fashion, Hope" costs $75 for an individual, and $125 for a couple. You can find more information or buy tickets here.

Follow 10 News Reporter Ashley Porter on twitter @ashleyreporter

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