5.19.2014 ~ And That’s All She Wrote…Goodbye, Kansas City, I Adore You…

When I decided to have a going away party, little did I know that I would end up putting together one of the most amazing groups of people all representing very different moments in my life here in Kansas City.  I also had no clue that I would end up taking a literal tour of some of my favorite KC bars and hot spots, including Sol Cantina, The Cashew, The Well, and Westport even for a final stop at Firefly.  I seemingly danced my way across the city, all the while kicking it up with some fabulous women in tow.

I have to say thank you so much to Chyanne, Gabby & the twins, Willie, Jim, Kendra, Kim and Dominique for the great conversation, laughs, and general merriment!  You guys made my last visit to Sol Cantina a memorable one!

I felt so fabulous thanks to the uber-talented Luis and Brayan of LB Styling & LB Glam who totally hooked up my hair and makeup for the night’s festivities.  Even though you guys couldn’t make it to the party, I’m so glad I got to spend those fun three hours with you while you turned me into a work of art.  The two of you are extremely talented, and I am blessed to have gotten to know you so well during my time here in Kansas City.  I KNOW that I’m going to be seeing you and your work in California very soon!  And P.S. I’m going to do my best to make sure that #thekhloeeffect becomes a thing!  I love it!

lbstylingI’ve talked so much the last few weeks about the things that I will miss, the people that I love and am saying goodbye to.  Truth is, while I put on my smiling face and I laugh and joke, and crush on all the spectacular people that have made my life in Kansas City so wonderful, I am heartbroken.  How could I not be?  Goodbyes are hard.  But what I keep trying to remember is this little poem, “Goodbyes are not forever.  Goodbyes are not the end.  They simply mean I’ll miss you until we meet again.”

So now it’s time to say goodbye to Curvy in Kansas City.  But this is not the end.  You and I ARE going to meet again.  While this may the final post for Curvy in KC, you have not seen the last of me at all.  What I am most grateful for when I think about Curvy in Kansas City, and when I think about all my fans, is that I’ve been so encouraged to grow and do more.  I want to go above and beyond anything I dreamed possible when I started this little blog that could.

So, my loves, be sure to keep tabs with me on my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts (where you can also catch more photos from the Curvy in Kansas City going away party).  You will get first-hand info there about what’s coming in the next few months.  I’ll still be posting OOTDs, Want It Wednesdays, and all varieties of fun and mayhem to these accounts while changes to the blog are made!

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IMG_0683Stay beautiful, stay happy, stay effing fabulous and I’ll see you on the flip side!

With Love, Charity

5.14.2014 ~ Want It Wednesday ~ The 6 Hottest, Must Have Fatkinis for Summer 2014

I was ALL about the fatkini last year.  Honestly, though, this year I’ve found some amazing one pieces that I just couldn’t live without.

Such as this amazing Torrid retro-styled leopard one piece…

10074009_hiAnd this fringe-y, tribal black and white number from Forever 21…

$_57But, I must admit, the fatkini is calling to me again, and I keep imagining how much I’m absolutely going to need at least one or two as a new California resident.  I mean a Cali girl has to have her bikini, right?  :)

Here are 6 of my must-have bikinis available right now!!!

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1. Forever 21 Bombshell Bikini (Top $12.80, Bottoms $11.80)

2. Gabifresh Nala Underwire Midkini, Swimsuits For All ($58.50)

3. RUE 107 Andrea High Waisted Bikini (Top $55.00, Bottoms $55.00)

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4. Nakimuli Red Mosaic Serengeti Swimsuit (Top $75.00, Bottoms $65.00)

5. Torrid Tie-Dye Cleavage Enhancer Swimsuit (Top $54.50, Bottoms $38.50)

6. Monif C Sao Paulo Plus Size Fringe Bikini (Top $98.00, Bottoms $80.00)

 

 

5.6.2014 ~ OUTFIT POST ~ Going Out With A Bang…Or Was That A Shot of Tequila?

I hadn’t planned on making another trip to St. Louis prior to the road trip to California in a couple of weeks, but then something funny happened.  My bestie found this AWESOME deal on Voice Daily Deals for the Cherokee Street Cinco de Mayo Festival in St. Louis!

IMG_0513First, if you’ve never experienced Cherokee Street on Cinco de Mayo, DO IT!  Start planning NOW!  Cherokee Street on its own is an amazing cultural experience any time of the year, and my love for the area just might be bolstered by the fact that one of my favorite St. Louis jewelry designers, Scarlett Garnet, calls it home.  When Cinco de Mayo rolls around, though, there’s just something that happens that really brings the street to life, and you’ll never know what you’re going to see or find.

Second, all I can say is $35 for all you can drink and eat, plus VIP access to private, non-porta-potty bathrooms and air conditioning…yeah, that’s a keeper.  So with my best friends in tow, Miss Jenna, Melissa, Zach, and Kevin, I headed out for what may have been the best way to say ta-ta for now to the great City of St. Louis!

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IMG_0550It’s a weird feeling, but with the way things are going now I really do feel like this is the way things are meant to be.  All my plans seem to be falling into place, and all my goodbyes are joined by beautiful sunshine, laughter, and well-wishes.  While I will definitely miss so much of what I’m leaving behind, I take some cheer in that all my final memories of the places I’ve held dear will be so wonderful and so joyful!

4.28.2014 ~ Weekend Update ~ Wear What You Love With Torrid Fashion

For months and months and months now, Torrid customers have been complaining.  I’ve written about it at least a few times before here at Curvy in Kansas City, and trust and believe, I’ve heard you all loud and clear!

I understand how hard it is when a company with such a long-standing history in the plus size market makes a change in their marketing plan.  For many long-time customers of Torrid, it was hard to see the everyday plus size girls that typically modeled Torrid clothing in campaigns and on their website be replaced with “barely plus” models in highly stylized photos and shiny campaigns.

It looks like Torrid has heard their customer base, as well.  Introducing the Wear What You Love Campaign…

1554635_10152434074518933_4686971843925487319_nFor the last couple of weeks, Torrid’s been reaching out to their customers asking them to tag their social media photos with the hashtag, #wearwhatyoulove.  Torrid has been choosing select photos posted by these awesome, beautiful women and featuring them on their Facebook page.  (Shout out to the gorgeous Miss Kendra Beagle – bottom right – from the Torrid at Zona Rosa store who got featured last week!)

Honestly, this is a great campaign!  Torrid has found a way, using the awesome power of social media, to combine their new marketing with more down-to-earth and easily accessible images that customers are more connected to.

Let’s see Kansas City represent!  I’ve been featured already rocking my fantastic Torrid leopard swimsuit, so you can too!  Tag #wearwhatyoulove and #curvyinkc for a chance to not only be featured on Torrid’s social media, but Curvy in Kansas City’s as well!!!

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4.25.2014 ~ Breaking News ~ Ashley Stewart Closes Only Kansas City Location

The saddest thing to see is when a major plus size retailer decides to close a location in an area where they are most needed.  This week the only Ashley Stewart in the Kansas City area closed its doors.

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I’m not a huge Ashley Stewart shopper, and I’m not going to act like I am.  But I have worked with the company some, and I have consistently promoted their clothing to my readers because they do represent for a certain kind of woman that wants to look a particular way.  Bold, urban, confident, sexy, and affordable…these are all words that I would use to define the lines put out by Ashley Stewart and I know that so many of the plus size women in the Kansas City area rely on them heavily to look and feel their best.  Now, with that being said, what’s happened here?

As it happens, Ashley Stewart is going through bankruptcy.  Or at least was going through bankruptcy until Wednesday when a judge cleared the way for Clearlake Capital to come in and acquire Ashley Stewart out of its Chapter 11 case.  According to an official statement from Ashley Stewart, the company had seen a significant decline in profitability and revenue since 2012 due to “a number of factors that have since been corrected.”

Originally marked to only close 27 stores nationally, it looks like that number will actually increase to around 50.  While in terms of liquidity, closing stores make sense, what doesn’t make sense is the way in which these stores were closed.

Now I can’t claim to know what has happened with the closing of those other 49 stores, but I have been told firsthand by an employee of the Ashley Stewart located at the Linwood Shopping Center at Prospect and 31st that the closing was extremely mismanaged.  Actually, I can’t even say that.  It wasn’t managed at all.

On Thursday, April 24, 2014, at 5:15pm, the doors were simply closed.  Employees weren’t notified in advance, and neither were clients, many of whom actually had items on layaway (a rare convenience offered by Ashley Stewart and one of the only companies in the plus size retail market to still do this).  The only notification for the frequent visitors to the store was a sloppily handwritten note stating, “STORE CLOSED.”  For the employees and clients of this store, I can only say that I am very sorry for what you are dealing with right now and I sincerely hope that Ashley Stewart will take responsibility for these actions and address your grievances.

The future of Ashley Stewart is quite uncertain.  Will Clearlake Capital be able to turn the failing company around?  Can a new, solid upper management structure be the answer to the current problems plaguing them?  I certainly hope so.  And not just for the women here in Kansas City who loved shopping with them, but for the greater plus size community in general.

The more companies like Ashley Stewart fail, the more people are going to look at the plus size fashion industry as a non-profitable industry, and therefore one that doesn’t deserve the effort.  And this is something we simply cannot afford.  We have come too far to have instances like these bring us several steps back.

If you were a client of the Kansas City Ashley Stewart, and you have questions regarding the closing or refunds for layaway items, be sure to check out their website or give them a call at 866-284-0424.

 

 

 

4.22.2014 ~ OUTFIT POST ~ Weekend Update ~ Remembrances Of A Country Girl

If all the “ya’lls” and my tendency to call everyone “sweetie” and “hun” wasn’t any indication, I’m a country girl at heart.  Sure, I’ve spent my life traveling – born in Germany, lived in a variety of city and states across the country, mostly in the Midwest and California – but there’s a huge part of me that knows that I’ll always remember the country with a fondness that I’ll never quite be able to put into words.  I guess because that little part of my heart is just for me, and there will never be a need to share how I feel about it with anyone else.

With the move to California coming soon, I had planned on taking a trip “home” to good ‘ole Mexico, Missouri, to say my goodbyes to my family and friends there.  I hadn’t been there in at least a year or so, and it was important to me that I took that trip and that time to see the family that, despite only being a couple of hours away, I never really got to see that much.  I thought I might just drive down there, and hop from home to home, but thankfully, my dear Aunt Linda and Uncle Tommy decided that Easter would be a great time to get the family together at their home in Santa Fe, Missouri.

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The home, out in the country on five acres of prime, lush Missouri land, is one I remember fondly.  They’ve lived on that property since I was just a little girl, and I can recall so many of the days and nights that I spent there as a kid when Mom and I would visit.  When I wasn’t running from my boy cousins who were shooting BB guns at me, or trying to chase me down with catfish heads, I would spend the greater part of my childhood learning how to fish, riding four-wheelers, splashing around at Spalding Beach and The Landing, or cruising on my Uncle Russell’s boat out on Mark Twain Lake.

Some amazing memories, and I couldn’t be happier that this became the setting for the place that I would say goodbye for now to my family.  It was a stunning Easter day.  Though the trees and fields had not quite bloomed as is usual for this time of year, it was still so beautiful.  And as is usual with my giant Fierge family, there was a fresh influx of young children running around the property, reminding me and my cousins of how we used to do the same thing when were little.

IMG_0377It was supposed to be 70-something and partly cloudy on Easter out in Santa Fe…it actually ended up being around 80 degrees and very sunny.  The sun felt spectacular (even if I did come out of the day a little red), and it made me happy that I had decided against a lot of my usual garb, and instead opted for minimal makeup, my new Torrid bermudas, a sheer chiffon top, and a simple statement necklace that I just picked up on my last trip to Honey’s Child Boutique in St. Louis.

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IMG_0424 IMG_0426This is me, the authentic me.  The little country girl with a giant heart, and the utmost love and respect for her family.  Missouri, you reminded me that I will miss you.  My family, you reminded me that I will always come back to be with you.  I love you all.

4.18.2014 ~ How Lucky I Am To Have Something That Makes Saying Goodbye So Hard…

I can’t take credit for that title…it’s actually from Winnie the Pooh.  And as with so much children’s literature, I find the words mean monumentally more to me as I get older.

Hello, my loves.  I’ve been putting off writing this post for some time now.  There’s something about committing  words “to paper”, and then putting those words out into the wide, wide world that can make something so irrevocable, so binding, so…final.

For the past few months, I’ve been living in a constant state of indecision.  And the one thing that I’ve learned is that when you can’t make a decision, life becomes stagnant.  You see, in order to move forward in life, you have to decide.  It doesn’t matter what you decide (hopefully we can all decide to do what’s right for our lives), but at some point, we have to choose either way – right or wrong.

You all may have noticed that there has been a lack of regular posting here at Curvy in Kansas City.  At least, I haven’t been posting as often as I used to.  And I’ve certainly not been as involved in the local fashion community as much as I used to, either.  I have had to pass up event after event, and meeting after meeting.  And for those of you that have reached out to me for advice or assistance, I am truly sorry for not being able to give you my full support and attention.  It has not been my intention to neglect you, or to withdraw my support from you.

The truth is that Curvy in Kansas City has had to take a backseat to my pending divorce and move from Kansas City.  Wow, just saying that was overwhelming…

I am 31 years old, and the life that I thought I had, the life that I had been building so carefully and with such passion over the last five years is now coming to an end.  I am not going to speak much to the reason for this cataclysmic event in my life.  Some of you must be sitting there asking yourselves, “Why?  What happened? But you two always seem so happy???”

Haywood and I have shared so many joyful moments together, and when you, my friends, my family, my readers have seen these times, you can trust and believe that they have been genuine.  We love each other today as we have always loved each other, but the issues that have brought us to this point in our lives are matters between the two of us, and we ask that you all respect our situation and our privacy when it comes to them.  We thank you for your support, your love, and your understanding.

collageSo what does this mean for Curvy in Kansas City?  What does that mean for me?  On May 23rd I will be packing the Prius and hitting the road with my best friend in tow (temporarily in tow, anyway), ready to start anew in the Sunshine State.  I can’t deny the draw that California has had for me.  In the last year or so, I’ve hopped a plane six times to see my California family and friends, and to take care of business.  When it came time to think about where I would want to go if I didn’t stay in Kansas City, the decision, honestly, was already made for me.

It seems a bit cliché, I suppose.  I will, like so many others before me, pursue my dreams out west.  But I can’t even begin to say how excited that I really am.  Sure I’m a bit fearful, a bit anxious, but I’ve always believed in a human being’s ability to reinvent, to rebirth themselves into a life that is altogether whole and meaningful.

Is it a coincidence that I choose to reveal this chapter’s end on Good Friday?  Yes, but it certainly is fitting.  On Good Friday, we remember the day that Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.  It is followed by Easter, the joyous celebration of the day that Jesus rose from the dead, exclaimed his victory over death and sin, and pointed ahead to a future resurrection for all who are united by faith in him.

Death and rebirth…the end and the beginning.

I will not be going away, dear readers.  No, I certainly will not.  The journey I am about to embark on will be one of the most exciting of my life, and you’re all in the passenger seat.  I look forward to sharing this adventure with you, and while my location may change, my heart and my mission will remain the same.  Stick with me, my loves, it only gets better from here.

3.26.2014 ~ Want It Wednesday ~ Spring Trend Alert – Artistic Prints c/o Cut for Evans

I’m all over the Spring trends right now!  Why?  Because it’s not just floral!  Not that I have a huge problem with floral if done the right way, but it’s just so predictable for the Spring.  What isn’t so expected?  The unbelievable artistic prints that have bounded down the runways and found themselves in the most wonderful garments.

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Want to get your hands on this trend at an affordable price?  There’s one place you have to go and NOW!

At this moment, Evans is having a HUGE 50% Off Sale and the Cut for Evans Collection is included.  Feast your eyes on this bounty…

1598657_10151980376062545_1688727487_oEvans (US) I just couldn’t resist and I ended up ordering the stunning white tunic with graphic print at a very nice price of only $45!  And I can’t wait to get it…I’m thinking liquid leggings and some ankle boots!  What do you think of the graphic trend?  I think it’s a MUST this season!

3.25.2014 ~ Just Cuz ~ A Lil’ St. Patty’s Day Fun to Make You Laugh!

Ok, so I finally got some time to go through the photos from my trip to St. Louis for St. Patrick’s Day with my loves…and I have to say, between the weather, and the company, and the activities, it was a truly wonderful weekend!

But the one thing I really love about waiting to look at photos for a little while after they’ve  been taken is that you often forget what you took photos of.  On this Tuesday, there’s really no other point to this post but to make you laugh.  Witness my St. Patty’s discovery…

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HIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You’re cute!

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Heyyy youuuuu guyyyyssss!

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Oh, you caught me!

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Why don’t you come sit by me?

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Fine…don’t sit by me…see if I care…

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My nose itches…

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No, I mean it REALLY itches!!!

 

3.14.2014 ~ Weekend Update ~ Kansas City Fashion Week Spring 2014

What a great night to get out and about in Kansas City!  If you didn’t know, Kansas City Fashion Week is back again and bringing it for Spring!

Tonight was the kick-off event for KCFW, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the venue, the vibe, and the company!  Despite some early set-backs with the scheduling of this season’s events, the kick-off party went on without a hitch at the fabulous Standard Style Boutique at the Plaza (451 W. 47th St., Kansas City, MO 64112).  While enjoying the refreshments and the upscale boutique environment, attendees of the party were able to browse the designer haven that sells everything from 3.1 Phillip Lim and House of Harlow, to Marc by Marc Jacobs and Rebecca Minkoff.

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IMG_0196It was a night filled with wonderful conversation, catching up with old friends and meeting some new.  Shout out to Miss Jana Meister of Jana Style who I absolutely adore and always have an amazing time with!  If you all haven’t checked out Jana’s blog before, get on over there now!  Her style is clean, chic, and always on point!

IMG_0205I also had the chance to meet some new bloggers (maybe not new-new, but new to me, anyway).  Caitlin Fore of Gussied Up is a complete doll, and I can’t tell you how obsessed I am with Sarah Hick’s (Style b8sics) DIY tulle skirt!!!

IMG_0206And then, the designers!  The designers, oh my goodness, the designers!  One of the things that I really adore about events like this is that true to the character of a Midwest fashion event, the designers can and typically do make themselves available to people like me who just want to generally bask in their creative glow, and also learn as much about them as I can and the inspiration behind their work.

Shout out to Jordan Williams of Keefe Cravat, an up-and-coming men’s accessories line!  Much luck on all of your current and future endeavors!  You have a friend and fan in me, sir!

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And how can I possibly forget the star of the evening – Miss Laura Kathleen, designer extraordinaire hailing from St. Louis, and most widely known for her appearances on Project Runway and Project Runway All-Stars!

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Laura’s talent and passion is beyond reproach, and the preview of her Fall collection that will be appearing on the KCFW stage this weekend was a real treat for attendees of the kick-off event.  I am particularly obsessed with her use of fabrics, including the print that is featured in the slacks she was wearing last night, and the accessories!  Hello, lover!  I need one (or two) of these amazing cuff bracelets in my life!

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IMG_0226KCFW continues through the weekend, with the Designer Presentation & Trunk Show on Friday evening, and three total runway shows on Saturday and Sunday.  I, unfortunately, will not be attending most of the shows as I have some excited girlfriends in the city of St. Louis who are all too ready to help me out with a belated birthday celebration.  However, I’ll be retweeting like crazy I’m sure throughout the weekend as coverage comes through and I’ll definitely be pointing you all in the right direction if you want to see more of the runway once the weekend is over!

For more photos from the KCFW kick-off event, be sure to check out the Curvy in Kansas City Facebook page!

3.10.2014 ~ Instagram Round-Up ~ My Last Day in Cali!

Guys, it’s been a long and wonderful two weeks in the great state of California, and as I look over the time I’ve spent here, there’s so much to think about.

First, let me just say that I definitely overpacked!  :)

I’ve spent a majority of my trip in my swimsuit, raybans, destructed boyfriend jeans, flowy tops, and my braided leather sandals.  I guess I’m a little more of a sun-worshipper than I really thought.  It’s so easy here to just lay in the sun, enjoy the breeze, and take in everything around you.  I was after some peace and quiet, and I definitely found it here.

IMG_20140310_133319Second, I have to say that my dad is one amazing guy.  It’s his birthday today – the BIG 6-0 – and I couldn’t be happier to have been able to spend this time with him, to enjoy his company, and to cheer him on through this crazy thing called cancer that he’s dealing with.  You are one strong and unbelievably optimistic person, Dad!  I love you so much, and I want you to have the most wonderful day today!  Happy, happy, happy birthday!

And finally, as I sit here and ponder the past, the present, and future, I keep going back to something I remember hearing some time ago…

quote-about-some-timesI’ll see you guys back in KC soon!  Have a wonderful day!

 

2.28.2014 ~ Community LUV ~ REbel Peer Education Sponsors BE YOU Bash on March 1st!

You all know that one of the big things that I like to support and discuss here at Curvy in Kansas City is body positivity and body acceptance.  If there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that women, regardless of size, age, religion or race, all at some level struggle with loving their bodies and themselves wholly.

Taking the message of self love that I’ve tried to promote to all  my readers, I’ve been extremely happy to support a local organization called REbel.  REbeL is a peer education program, founded in 2008 by Laura Eickman, Psy.D., that aims to change the definition of beauty and health for individuals of all ages. REbeL was originally piloted as a student group at Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kan., to promote an environment that would build self-esteem and confidence among youth, while combatting disordered eating and body image issues that have become increasingly prevalent among young men and women. The organization has since grown into a not-for-profit, launching additional chapters in Kansas area high schools and recently extending their reach to middle schools, recognizing that combating body image issues begins at a young age.

I’ve had the pleasure of attending a REbel meeting at Blue Valley, and I have to tell you, seeing these young people speak is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in my life.  These young people are talking about issues that were unheard of when I was in school…things like anorexia, bulimia, and peer pressure.  It’s not like these things didn’t exist, no, no.  It’s just that people didn’t actually talk about them.

I’m writing about REbel today because I want to see if you will help me, help them.  They will be hosting their first Be You Bash, an evening for food, fun, and celebrating individuality on March 1. The event will be held at the Dubliner and hosted by Trent and Julie Green. Trent is a two-time NFL Pro Bowl quarterback who played for the Kansas City Chiefs, and his wife, Julie is a dedicated philanthropist.

“The Be You Bash is going to be an incredible evening – for both attendees and for the organization – and we couldn’t be more excited to invite the Kansas City community to come out and enjoy a great evening while learning more about REbeL and providing critical support for our mission,” explains Laura Eickman, founder of REbeL.

The event, which is being sponsored by Aristocrat Motors, will be held in the Power and Light District at The Dubliner, 170 E 14th Street, Kansas City, MO 64106, from 6 – 10 pm. Tickets range in price from $50-$85 and will be available at the door the day of the event. The Be You Bash will feature heavy appetizers, cocktails and an evening of entertainment, including DJ JT Quick, Allen Voss Quartet, Keith Leff of Magicreations, a photobooth from Theatre of the Imagination, and a silent auction, with all proceeds benefitting REbeL.

REbeL - Be You Bash flyer-page-001To learn more about REbeL, visit http://www.re-bel.org or contact Molly Groebe at molly@re-bel.org or 913-814-9209.