From fashion to a social gathering FRA and the United Way raise funds for the community

Real life Spiderman shoots web at audience
Real life Spiderman shoots web at audience(Julie Swisher)
Published: Oct. 22, 2022 at 12:08 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - It has been a busy week for the Fairbanks Resource Agency (FRA), with two big events that were packed into one whirlwind of a week.

On Wednesday, FRA and the United Way of the Tanana Valley hosted the 16th Annual FRA United Way Fashion Show showcasing everything from formal outfits to fun costumes. All the participants raised funds for the United Way of the Tanana Valley.

This year’s event theme was named “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of the things that make me happy,” with an emphasis that each individual who participated defined his or her own pursuit of happiness.

Like many events, it has been two years since the event has taken place due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

One fashionista shows off her elegant outfit
One fashionista shows off her elegant outfit(Julie Swisher)

Amanda Hanson, the Executive Director for The United Way of the Tanana Valley, said she was a little nervous because this was her first time participating in the event and also said it’s worth knowing how important events like this are.

“What we do at the United Way is to raise as many funds as we can to invest that back into our community,” said Hanson. “Through these 17 partner agencies that provide the most critical services that this community needs and uses.”

FRA is one of the partner agencies. Hanson said events like the fashion show bring the community closer together and can make a huge difference. The money raised will go right back to FRA along with other agencies at the end of the year.

Sporting outfits like cowboy boots and hats, to prom attire and a real-life Spiderman, the members of FRA along with staff “strutted their stuff” with fashions picked out from Value Village, which has a partnership with FRA.

The Fairbanks Resource Agency has worked with individuals with disabilities and their families for over 5-decades, ensuring all have the right to a full and inclusive life.

On Thursday, FRA turned right around from the fashion show with this year’s Taste of Fairbanks City Sampler.

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, The Westmark Gold Room was filled with food, laughs, and above all a shared goal--supporting the growing senior population in the Fairbanks community.

"Quiche me," please!
"Quiche me," please!(Julie Swisher)

Wendy Cloyd, the Director of Community Development for The Fairbanks Resource Agency said, “A lot of our senior services programs are grant funded which means they come with some restrictions on them. We can only spend them on certain things that are listed in that specific grant, so when we have an event like this that provides us with unrestricted funds, that means that we can take care of our seniors in such great ways.“

Many food vendors, wine vendors, and businesses donated their time and resources to the event. “All of the vendors that we have here today are donating the food in-kind to us,” explained Cloyd. “They are donating to the cause of City Sampler, to Fairbanks Resource Agency, to benefit senior services, so it really, really is extra special that all of the vendors that they are doing that for us and we are incredibly grateful.”

All the proceeds from the City Sampler will be directed to FRA’s Senior Services Program which includes the Adult Day Center, Respite Care, Chore Services, Support Services for Family Caregivers, and Community Outreach. The funds will also help the organization adapt to the growing senior population, those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and other frail and disabling conditions.

“The senior population is growing exponentially in the State of Alaska and we want to be here to support those seniors, " said Cloyd.

For more information on FRA services visit the Fairbanks Resource Agency website.

More information about the United Way of the Tanana Valley is available on their website.