Haitian Extravaganza raises enough to buy a house

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Killingly - posted Mon., Feb. 21, 2011
Lomancia Charstil and Marie Beechman watch the fashion show at QVCC on Feb. 18. Photos by Denise Coffey.
Lomancia Charstil and Marie Beechman watch the fashion show at QVCC on Feb. 18. Photos by Denise Coffey.

A Haitian Fashion and Cultural Extravaganza on Feb. 18 brought in more than $3800 for the nonprofit group, Roots of Development. Executive Director Chad Bissonnette told a packed auditorium about the organization’s mission to help impoverished communities in Haiti. Since 2005, Roots of Development has raised enough money to complete a water purification system in Gran Sous on the island of La Gonav that provides water to 6,000 residents. They have also built 16 homes for families on the island.

 “Enjoy the show,” Bissonette said, “but make a sacrifice tonight. Bid on a dress. Buy a raffle ticket. Learn more about what’s happening in Haiti, and do what you can to help.”

Camecia Cineus of The Perfect Fit in Danielson created 45 dresses that were modeled on stage.

Every dress – from wedding gowns and prom dresses to children’s outfits -was available for bid after the show.

The evening featured a drummer and dancer from Gaia roots, and an eight-woman ensemble from Studio Desmeen in Jewett City performed choreographed belly dances. Food and drink and crafts were sold in the cafeteria during the show’s intermission. The cost of admission, along with raffle ticket sales and dress sales went to fund the work of Roots of Development.

Chad’s parents, Marion and Martin Bissonnette, are task force advisors for the organization as well as emcees for the event. Martin Bissonnette was thrilled with the success of the event. “We raised more than $3,800,” he said. “That’s enough to build one house. It will change the life of an entire family,” he said.    



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