Boston Athletes Score Big at Big Sister Fashion Show

Published On April 2, 2013 | By Shanda Foster

Every now and then a night comes along that reminds you of just how great it is to be a Bostonian. A couple of my personal favorites are the night of the 2001 Super Bowl Championship win by the Patriots, the day I discovered Boca Grande and my newest fave, The Big Sister Association’s Charity Fashion Show. Last week I had the pleasure of attending the third-year event at the wonderful Fairmont Copley Hotel ballroom to help raise money in support of the Big Sisters Association of Greater Boston.

Growing up with a family full of women and two small nieces, female empowerment will always be a cause worth supporting. The massive organization which carefully pairs volunteer mentors with “Little Sisters” struck a chord with me and to no surprise the event, which was hosted by Mistress of Ceremonies Susan Warnick, was a pleasure. The night began with opening comments by Mayor Tom Menino followed by an introduction of a couple of radiant Little Sisters along with their Big Sisters. Then it was the moment we all were waiting for: the main event – spring fashions by Boston’s own Denise Hajjar and Classic Tuxedo.

The runway was covered with resort wear, trench coats and printed dresses in bold pinks and sultry oranges, and the models were full of excitement. There were floor-length flowing dresses with bright purses, scarves, hats and handsome male models accompanying the ladies – but these weren’t just any male models. These were special guest celebrity models, some of Boston’s most prominent men who took the runway for a great cause.

Among the celebrity guests were New England Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko, who stole the show in a charcoal three piece suit, former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, WBZ-TV sports reporter Steve Burton, Vice Chairman of Arnold Worldwide Fran Kelly and Chief Executive Officer of Rafanelli Events Bryan Rafanelli, just to name a few. I got a chance to catch up with Jason Varitek about his involvement in the event.

Shanda with Jason Varitek.

Shanda with Jason Varitek.

“My wife got me involved in this event,” he said. “The night has been great and it’s for such a great cause.”

Following the show was a live auction, and you haven’t seen Susan Warnick until you’ve seen her work it as an auctioneer. There were tickets for two in the Boston Globe luxury suite for Beyonce’s Mrs. Carter Show World Tour (courtesy of the Globe), a six-day, six-night African safari for two at Zulu Nyala Luxury Tented Safari Lodge, a Tuscan vacation, ten seats in the Putnam Club for Taylor Swift’s sold out tour at Gillette Stadium, and more great auction items. The night ended with shopping in Denise Hajjar’s boutique inside the Fairmont Copley where we shopped til we dropped. The experience was an amazing success; raising over $100,000, which will support Big Sisters.

For more information on the Big Sister Association Greater Boston, or if you’re interested in becoming a Big Sister, you can go to With all of the entertainment at this year’s event, you definitely won’t want to miss next year’s.

Shanda with Steve Burton and Zoltan Mesko.

Shanda with Steve Burton and Zoltan Mesko.

Comments are closed.

About The Author

Shanda Foster is a media personality who got her start as a journalist. She began her career writing press releases and bios for clients at a public relations company. She then decided to pursue her passion of journalism and started contributing to fashion and entertainment online publications. Foster went on to contribute for other publications and began writing an entertainment column for In 2009, Shanda entered the broadcast media world as the third member of Playaction Sports Radio. Her entertainment reporting, sports knowledge and humorous personality gained her attention locally. So sit back and enjoy the ride!