Fashion Forward: Ninety Years of Supporting Rush

For the past 90 years, the Woman’s Board of Rush University Medical Center has produced the longest continuously running charitable fashion show in the country. The Woman’s Board Fashion Show was described by Chicago magazine as a “being a philanthropic force” that serves as “a barometer of Chicago’s ever-changing fashion scene.”

Starting in 1926 with a benefit show for St. Luke’s Hospital, the fashion show continued as St. Luke’s merged with Presbyterian Hospital and then with Rush. The show has raised more than $32.6 million since it began keeping records of all fundraising efforts in 1974.

Here’s a sampling of Woman’s Board Fashion Show posters and program covers dating back to the 1920s, courtesy of the Rush Archives.

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In 2016, the Woman’s Board Fashion Show will support the Center for Veterans and Their Families at Rush, an innovative effort that connects veterans and their families with specialized mental health care, peer-to-peer outreach, counseling and resources they need to transition from military to civilian life.

This year, the Woman’s Board has committed to raising $500,000 for the center, also known as the Road Home Program. A recent $15 million challenge grant from Wounded Warrior Project has presented Rush and Road Home with an unprecedented opportunity to reach more vets in need. Wounded Warrior Project will make matching contributions of $2 for every dollar Rush secures for Road Home, up to a total of $7.5 million raised by Rush. The fashion show is a critical part of this effort, and every net dollar given to the Road Home Program will be automatically matched by two dollars until the challenge is met.

The 2016 Woman’s Board Fashion Show will be held Thursday, Oct. 13. Purchase tickets and learn more about the event on the show’s website, or contact the Woman’s Board at (312) 942-6513

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