Grandview Village people strut their stuff
August 28, 2008 · Updated 10:40 AM
MARYSVILLE Puttin on the dog was part of puttin on the Ritz at the second annual Grandview Village Costume Fashion Show Sept. 22.
It was a senior moment to forget, unless you counted all the laughs at the retirement community when the aging hipsters hit the catwalk dressed in a variety of outfits from an Arlington costume shop.
Residents were dressed according to a movie theme this year, and outfits included regulars from many Disney flicks, including Mickie and Minnie Mouse, Cruella Deville and others. Kids and grandkids got into the act, too, parading around as Raggedy Ann and Andy, a rock star, a movie star and many others.
Cleopatra came without her asp, and Juliet was sans Romeo, just for the night. The crowd was stunned to hear resident Donna Woodward vamp as an opera singer: the 82-year-old was really getting into the role, belting out an aria to the amazement of all.
You know her pipes are still working, jibbed emcee Barbara Lester.
Woodward used to sing on stage, mostly country and western classics. She said she was glad that her voice wasnt affected by a stroke several years back. The costume show was more than just a chance to strut her stuff in an outrageous flapper outfit.
I think it gives me a chance to get out, Woodward said.
For Grandview Village executive director Debra Loughrey-Johnson, the show started last year as an attempt to help a new business get some press and make a splash in the community. She had heard about Gussie and Gertie at a chamber of commerce event, where owners Laurie Faaberg and Becky Walsh wore two of the 800 costumes they had at the time. L-J asked if they could put on a show to create some buzz in town, but she didnt realize how much fun her residents would have.
They were really cute when they came to the chamber the first time, Loughrey-Johnson said. They were so agreeable and the residents had so much fun and they asked Can we do it again this year?
Now the racks at Gussie and Gerties have more than 1,200 costumes to choose from and the firm fitted the outfits, delivered them to the retirement center and picked them up after the show. Loughrey-Johnson said family members had a blast and that several said they havent seen their moms laugh so hard in years.
The show charged $2 per head, and raised more than $200 for the Marysville Community Food Bank. That was just a sidebar to the main story getting the word out and helping a new business, according to Loughrey-Johnson.
It really is PR for both of us, she said.
L-J got a huge laugh in her outfit: dressed as the Seattle Space Needle, she assured the audience that her elevator went all the way to the top.