The Queen’s Daughters Inc., will present its 70th annual fashion show and luncheon March 22 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Phillips Lane.
The show, the organization’s largest fundraiser, supports the Queen’s Daughters Scholarship Program and Catholic Charities of Louisville’s Family Services, which includes Mama Matters, Family Support on the Go and Walking with Moms in Need.
Mothers and their children are at the foundation of the organization, said Joyce Jennings, who serves as president of the nonprofit.
“Helping unwed mothers was the whole premise,” said Jennings.
The organization formed in 1915 when the Sisters of the Good Shepherd asked a group of women for assistance with their ministry. The women served World War I soldiers at Camp Taylor, said Jennings, but soon shifted to helping mothers in need.
The Queen’s Daughters opened a home for women and children in 1924. In 1952, when the fashion show began, all the proceeds helped to support that effort. Proceeds now go to Catholic Charities to continue the work of helping expectant mothers and their children, Jennings said. Being of service to women and their children year after year is important to the group, she noted.
“It means a lot to us because it means a lot to the people we serve,” she said.
Cydnei Dean, program director of Community Support Services at Catholic Charities, said the funds from the Queen’s Daughters typically provide direct assistance to pregnant women. The women served by the agency most often need baby clothing, hygiene items and large items, such as car seats and cribs.
Catholic Charities is currently working with a handful of parishes to roll out Walking with Moms in Need — a fairly new initiative — by the end of April, said Dean. She anticipates that women served by that program will have similar needs.
Jennings noted that the mother-and-child dynamic plays out in another way in the organization, too. Several of the members, including Jennings, were following in their mothers’ footsteps in joining Queen’s Daughters.
Sue Wight, one of the organization’s 280 members, said she recalls being a model in the first fashion show when she was 5 years old. Her mother and several of her mother’s friends were members of the organization. Wight would attend the groups’ events as a little girl, she said.
Seven decades later, she is returning as a model in the spring show, which usually draws hundreds of people.
Jennings said organizers are expecting more than 400 people this year.
“For anything to last 70 years” is an accomplishment, she added.To learn more about the group, visit https://queensdaughtersinc.com/.