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Fashion show supports Quincy-based counseling service

Maria Droste only hosts one fundraiser a year - but they do it in style. At the counseling center’s 10th annual fundraising fashion show on Thursday night, Waltham-based designer David Josef’s creations were the main event as attendees dined and participated in live and silent auctions.

“Without the fashion show we couldn’t keep our doors open, this event literally keeps our doors open and makes it possible to do what we do,” Executive Director Michael Shanahan said. “To do the services we provide we do get some money, but the fees we charge are very low... this is key for us.”

Almost 400 people gathered at the Lantanta in Randolph on April 23 to support the three full-time staff members and team of volunteers that make up Quincy-based Maria Droste Counseling Services at the annual Darlene Sheehan Fashion Gala. Local officials, including Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch, joined donors and local residents for a sit-down dinner, fashion show, auctions and raffle with over 60 gift baskets up for grabs. Shanahan estimates the event pulls in nearly $100,000 annually.

The nonprofit organization, founded in 1982 by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, provides counseling services to the mentally ill and people with substance abuse problems.

“It’s a great time and it’s certainly an organization that deserves this,” three-time attendee Rosemarie Pages said.

Maria Droste has 10 to 15 volunteers with a range of therapy specialties, from drug therapy to holistic services like massage therapy and Reiki.

Many of the center’s clients are people who would have otherwise lacked the means to seek therapy. Services are provided to people with or without health insurance and the group tries to find help for everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

“Absolutely not,” Board Member Geraldine Good said when asked if Maria Droste could survive without the annual Fashion Gala.

A 15-year member of the board, who previously served as president, Good remembers talks of potentially having to dissolve the agency due to lack of funding before the annual fundraiser got the group back on its feet.

“What an amazing event, this has grown so tremendously,” she said. “We’ve had a great benefactors but it’s really because of everyone who pulls together this event that we’ve been able to keep going.”Read more here:year 12 formal dresses | formal dresses for women

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