Annual Harvesters Fashion Show and Luncheon Raises $1.7 Mil for Second Harvest Food Bank

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Laura Vanderhook, Veronica Slavik and Christy Flanagan. Photo by Doug Gifford

Harvesters, in collaboration with South Coast Plaza, presented the season’s most coveted styles from South Coast Plaza’s luxury retailers during the 29th Annual Fashion Show and Luncheon on October 6, 2021, at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

The event raised more than $1.7 million in support of Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, with additional donations still coming in, to address the ongoing hunger crisis in Orange County.

South Coast Plaza produced and curated the exclusive runway show inside The Center’s Samueli Theatre, and featured the fall/winter 2021 collections of iconic fashion houses.

To date, the annual event has raised more than $12.8 million for Second Harvest, helping to provide 38.4 million meals over the past 29 years. Throughout the pandemic, the immediate action taken by the Harvesters community was instrumental in assisting Second Harvest’s ability to serve the tidal wave of need.

The event began with an outdoor champagne reception featuring fresh juices from Nékter Juice Bar, followed by the luxury fashion show, showcasing highlights from Chloé, Isabel Marant, Lanvin, Marni, Monique Lhuillier, Oscar de la Renta, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stella McCartney, The Webster and Versace. The event also featured a virtual silent auction with exclusive experiences and a gourmet luncheon.

Isabel Marant. Credit John Eckmier

“This year, many of our generous underwriters significantly raised their gracious giving, collectively creating a tremendous impact through Harvesters 29th Fashion Show and Luncheon,” said Veronica Slavik, Harvesters Chair and Corporate Development for ORCO in Corona del Mar. “For months, our event was in question due to COVID concerns and restrictions. But I encouraged Harvesters to stay focused on what was not in question—supporting Second Harvest Food Bank’s mission to provide nutritious food to families and growing children in Orange County, supplying the fuel they need to take on the challenges that they continue to face in the lingering pandemic. Our event was a celebration of coming together to illuminate immeasurable opportunities for families in need by providing them with a fundamental necessity: nutritious food.”

Harvesters is an independent volunteer organization of committed and philanthropic women from all backgrounds who raise funds and awareness for Second Harvest’s mission to end hunger in Orange County. Last year, the highly anticipated event was held in a virtual format and netted over $1.6 million in donations to provide food for children, seniors and families in need.

Irene Martino, Jennifer Segerstrom, Cashey Lesher and Anton Segerstrom. Photo credit Ryan Miller

In one of the most affluent areas of the United States, one in seven children goes hungry at least once every month. Hunger is a constant stressor for working families and individuals, who struggle to pay for basic necessities such as food, medicine and housing. The number of individuals served at the height of the pandemic more than doubled pre-COVID counts to over 500,000 individuals served each month and Second Harvest continues to provide a steady pipeline of fresh, nutritious proteins, fruits, vegetables and dairy to help set up more than 300,000 people for success at school and work each month.

“We’re pleased to present our exclusive fall/winter fashion show for a very important cause,” said Debra Gunn Downing, spokeswoman for South Coast Plaza. “Together with our retailers, we support the efforts of Harvesters and Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County in addressing hunger.”

The annual Harvesters Fashion Show & Luncheon is made possible by the support of generous underwriters, sponsors, donors and volunteers. Sponsors include Premier Partner South Coast Plaza, Corporate Legacy Harvest Sponsor City National Bank, as well as corporate sponsor Casey Lesher – Coldwell Banker. One hundred percent of underwriter donations from the event go directly to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County.

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