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L to R: Cheryl Phipps, HCDDS, Samantha Charek, V&V, Susan Pahner, RHC, Nikki Martin, V&V, Debbie Baker, LADD, Kate Hawkins, CARA, and Sharon Hannon, OVGI. Not pictured is Betsy Baugh, UCP.
Kim Martin, parent and Nikki Martin, fashion design artist. Monday, March 15th marked the celebration of the 2010 Ohio Public Images Awards Luncheon. This year’s event was especially poignant for members of the Community Ambassadors Resource Alliance (CARA) and fashion design artist, Nikki Martin, because the group was being recognized for the success of the 2009 What Matters Most Fashion Show. The precedent-setting fashion show was designed to showcase the skills and abilities of all people with disabilities and served as the debut of fashion design artist, Nikki Martin. Ohio Valley Goodwill is a co-founder of the CARA group and was a major sponsor and co-producer of the 2009 Fashion Show event. Ohio Public Images is a not-for-profit organization that was established to promote positive perceptions of people with developmental disabilities. Annually, Ohio Public Images recognizes groups and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding efforts in enhancing the positive image of the abilities of individuals with developmental disabilities. The 2009 What Matters Most Fashion Show was selected for an award of merit due to the inclusive nature of the show’s models and uniqueness as a showcase for the designs of artist, Nikki Martin. “The CARA group could not be more pleased with the recognition by Ohio Public Images of the What Matters Most Fashion Show,” said Kate Hawkins, CARA Chairperson. “It was truly a ground-breaking, inspiring event which is still being talked about in Hamilton County,” added Hawkins. Ohio Valley Goodwill was a co-producer of the event and provided 20 models and boutique fashions for the show. “We’re so glad that the What Matters Most Fashion Show received this recognition,” said Sharon Hannon, Marketing Specialist. “It was a labor of love for all of us involved in planning and producing this exciting and memorable event,” added Hannon.