Art illustration by Symara Wilson for use by 360 MAGAZINE

The Salvation Army Annual Garbage Bag Gala

The Salvation Army Camden Kroc Center Hosts 6th Annual Garbage Bag Gala

Unique virtual fashion show featuring recycled materials supports upcoming programs assisting local families at the Kroc Center.

The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Camden will hold its 6th Annual Garbage Bag Gala Fashion Show on Friday, June 4, in support of programs helping local families at the Kroc Center. This year’s gala will be hosted virtually, with the runway fashion show taking place at the Kroc Center and attendees watching from home through a livestream.

COVID has been a time of great pivot for The Salvation Army in meeting emerging needs in evolving ways.  The GBG really aims to help us deliver these services in more robust and powerful ways through our Camden ministry.  A few stats from The Salvation Army in Camden:

  • Between onsite and mobile food pantry, in Camden we are on pace for distributing 1,200,000 pounds of food in 2021 to families in great need, this will be an all-time service poundage high!
  • Every year, we serve 20,000 individuals or more directly in with a holistic approach including mind, body, spirit and community-building.  This includes a wide variety of offerings including sports leagues, swim lessons, fitness classes, Bible studies and worship, open gym sports like basketball, open swim and water park visits, fitness center visits, seniors wellness programming and fellowship, arts and dance experiences, and so much more.
  • This past Thanksgiving and Christmas Season, we served over 1,900 families with food, Christmas toys, gift cards and blessing packages within our Christmas Railroad experience!  This includes serving 3,747 children (11,149 toys) within families including 6,826 individuals total.
  • We have reached the 10,000th vaccination at our COVID-19 vaccination center onsite, in partnership with Cooper University Health Care (celebration this coming Saturday)!  From the beginning, our site was designated as an education center as well and for health equity only serves (underserved) City residents.
  • In a regular year, we host nearly 500 events to serve the community in diverse and powerful ways.  These events include family-hosted events, community meetings, interfaces with government agencies, health fairs, job fairs, dance recitals, movie nights in the pool, family dinners, youth nights, and more.  Of note, special events such as the Easter Egg Hunt, Member & Friends Tree Lighting, the Harvest Festival/GLOW Party and Krocfest Event will typically host 800-1,200 individuals in a span of a few hours.

This event was inspired by our Camden Women’s ministries and the leadership of the event over the years has really pushed the bounds of this event to be “high couture” and an amazing show and experience. Upcycling, sustainability and inclusivity are key themes of the show and flexibility/pivoting to create beauty is a powerful motivator.

Sponsored by The Beringer Group, Platinum Sponsors: Agent06, New Jersey American Water, PSE&G; Gold Sponsors: Subaru, Foundation Title, Hardenbergh Insurance Group, this awe-inspiring runway show will showcase fashions created from recycled and unconventional materials, even garbage bags. Approximately 20 garments created by fashion design students from Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design will be featured in the annual fashion show, which is being produced by acclaimed red-carpet designer, Project Runway runner-up and judge, Nancy Volpe Beringer

For the first time ever, several well-known journalists from local television and radio stations have volunteered to serve as celebrity models during the show. Confirmed celebrity models include Cecily Tynan, Chief Meteorologist from 6abc Action News; Llarisa Abreu, Meteorologist from CBS 3 Eyewitness News; Jennifer Lewis-Hall, host and producer of PHL17’s public affairs program, In Focus; and Joy Soto, Community Voices & Engagement Fellow, WHYY.

Tickets can be purchased for $99 beginning May 1 and the first purchasers will receive a party pack with fun backdrop designs and other items to use at home while watching. Virtual attendees of this year’s Garbage Bag Gala are invited to participate virtually throughout the event, with attendees being shown on a wall of monitors behind the runway. Those who feel adventurous are invited to dress in theme by creating a garment, gown or accessory made from recycled materials and posting a photo on their social media channels with the hashtag #GBG21.

“The Garbage Bag Gala is a one-of-a-kind fashion show that spotlights rejuvenation and inclusion,” said Kroc Center Associate Administrator Captain Pamela Maynor. “We’re very excited to showcase the hard work and talent of these extraordinary designers, all to help support amazing local families impacted by a most challenging year.”

“The Kroc Center truly does incredible work to serve a struggling population. So many special events have been missed during COVID, we knew we needed to make this 6th year the best ever,” says Garbage Bag Gala Committee Chairperson, Angela Barnshaw.

About The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center

Opened in 2014 to enhance The Salvation Army’s service in the City of Camden since 1880, The Salvation Army Kroc Center is a 120,000-square-foot state-of-the-art community center on a 24-acre campus.  The Center provides recreational, health, educational, cultural, family and spiritual programming to Camden and the surrounding community.  The facility includes a black box theater, water park, pool, commercial kitchen, youth and senior centers, chapel, field house, fitness center, food pantry and much more.  Outdoor amenities include a soccer/football field and two baseball/softball fields.

Leave a Reply