Debbie Gaby Charities Celebrity Catwalk returns to Paradise Valley

Debbie Gaby, president and founder of Debbie Gaby Charities, spearheads efforts to give back to the community by improving the quality of lives for others. (Submitted photo)

Debbie Gaby Charities Celebrity Catwalk returns for its 11th biennial walk down the runway.

If you’re asking if biennial is correct as opposed to biannual, that word is correct as the event was last held in 2016 and has returned two years later.

The fashionable charitable event slated from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Oct. 16, at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia in Paradise Valley, will be chaired by Debbie Gaby, Bea Rocklin, Mary Meyer and honorary chair, Ilana Ruber Lowery.

Debbie Gaby and Beatrice (Bea) Rocklin (Submitted photo)

Now, if you’re recalling lyrics to the chart-topping song, “I’m too sexy,” by the Right Said Fred British singing group, while remembering the hook: “And I do my little turn on the catwalk — Yeah, on the catwalk,” enjoy a preview of the local, celebrity catwalk.

“We are so excited to have another opportunity to give back to our community as we raise much needed funds for our charities while having so much fun,” said Ms. Gaby, president and founder of Debbie Gaby Charities said in a prepared statement. “This luncheon event is very special to me and offers a spectacular day of fabulous fashions from Dillard’s, modeled by amazing celebrities, tastemakers and community leaders.”

According to a press release, beneficiaries include many Debbie Gaby Charities such as Act One, YWCA, The Phoenix Heart Ball and Ballsfest.

This year’s Hope Award honorees are Bob and Pat Bondurant and a community member will also be recognized through the inaugural Honor Health Len Gaby Award.

In addition to the celebrity models and runway fashion show, the event includes lunch, “Pretty in Pink Dream Boxes,” a live auction by “auctiontainer” Letitia Frye and a performance by classical guitarist, Andres Segovia “Esteban”.

Dave “The Mayor” Pratt, nationally recognized as America’s Personality of the Year in rock and country broadcasting, will serve as emcee, the release stated.

Weeks before the scheduled event, Ms. Gaby shared information with the Independent, describing the star-studded affair and her ongoing efforts to benefit others by giving back to the community.

“I am the luckiest woman in the world to get to do this. It keeps me out of trouble,” Ms. Gaby said.

The co-founder and president of Sleep America for 20 years prior to its purchase in January 2015, she remains dedicated to improving the quality of life for others, even after the noted success of Sleep America becoming the “largest mattress retailer in Arizona,” with 46 locations statewide.

Before opening her first mattress store, she coordinated Sleep America’s Mattress Recycling Program with St. Vincent de Paul to keep consumers’ used mattresses out of landfills.

In 1997, she founded Debbie Gaby Charities. Her Celebrity Catwalk for Charity has raised more than $1 million for “deserving causes” in Arizona.

Ms. Gaby gave examples of how she’s seen the fundraiser benefit the various charitable organizations and how it made her feel.

“We purchased red wagons for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital so they can transport the children from their room to the front door when they’re ready to leave. We’ve also purchased blanket warmers for the kids,” she said. “These types of things make me feel all warm and fuzzy, that I helped make a difference in someone’s life. I also feel very good about helping people help themselves.”

Below, the mattress mogul and mentor shares more details on the upcoming gala:

Who are some of the celebrity models to walk the runway for the fashion show?
We have super model Kim Alexis, Baywatch babe Gena Lee Nolin, Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley, Catherine Anaya with AZTV7, JohnJay and Rich from iHeart radio, Pat Hickey with Peoria Ford and Jody Jackson the sports reporter with 12 News.

What roles do Bea Rocklin & Mary Meyer share as event co-chairs?
They are responsible for making the event successful and using their contacts to sell sponsorships, secure auction items and get items for the Dream Boxes. They oversee all of the other committees.

Is there a set fundraising amount for the various charities?
The overall goal is $250,000. What the individual charities get all depends on the funds raised.

How much money was raised in the past?
In 2016, we raised $180,000.

What’s some of the items to be auctioned off?
We have a week in Cabo at a private villa in Palmilla and we’re raffling off a two-year lease on an Escalade. We’re working on items like dinners with well-known local chefs.

As a mentor to young girls, what’s some advice given to them and why?
Be the best you can be. Your best is different than my best. It’s okay to make mistakes. Love is the most important thing in the world.

What should people do to RSVP if necessary/reservation deadline?
The event always sells out at least a week before. We are encouraging people to get their tickets as soon as possible at debbiegabycharities.com.

For more information on purchasing tickets, hosting a table, donations or sponsorship, call 602-821-6000.

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