One Final Fabulous Fashion Finale!

On the Cover: Natalie A. Sillery with THEIA’s Pascal and Don O’Neill. All photos in this post courtesy of Lisa Miller – Studio di Luce

For the House That Love Built

By Mandy Weinerman

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Get ready Saratoga!

On Thursday, August 22 Ronald McDonald House Charities and Saratoga Trunk will present…

The Final Fashion Finale at the newly constructed 1863 Club at Saratoga Race Course

This Final Fashion Finale will be a celebration of THEIA’s 10 years of unwavering support for the House that Love Built. At the helm, as she has been for the past 21 years, will be none other than the humble, caring and devoted Natalie A. Sillery. Natalie, along with her tribe of women, will once again be donning fabulous gowns, fascinators, and this year – one-of-a-kind pieces by Theia with the emphasis of “throughout the years.” Honorary chairs will be Theia’s Creative Director Don O’Neill and President Evelyn Hanne Anastos – two true “Thoroughbreds of Style”. 

L to R: Natalie A. Sillery and THEIA’s President Evelyn Hanne Anastos

In the exciting new 1863 Club, guests are not only granted access to some of the best views of the Saratoga Race Track, but I have been told they will enjoy an upgraded buffet by Centerplate, an abundance of wine from Specialty Wines and More, overflowing champagne from DeCrescente and, if you choose, there will be a fully stocked cash bar.

At the Final Fashion Finale to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) party goers will have breathtaking rail views all day long! This day will also consist of learning more about the Ronald McDonald House and their newly constructed Krantz Cottage in Lake George, front row seats to the last ever fashion parade, and outstanding live and silent auction items. Not only do you get to give to the House that Love Built, but you will do so in a new beautiful building with Air Conditioning!

File Photo: The entrance to the 1863 Club at Saratoga Race Course

Doors will open at 11 am for this last time event!

Over the past 20 years the Saratoga Fashion show, with the generosity of all the partygoers, has raised over $1.9 million! This tremendous amount has gone solely to the Ronald McDonald House.

The non-for-profit Ronald McDonald House has created a home away from home, allowing families to focus on what’s really important – their child’s recovery. Albany’s Ronald McDonald House provides a haven of comfort, love, hope and support, all free of charge for critically ill children and their families. 

Since its inception in 1974, more than 10 million families around the world have benefited from the support provided by a Ronald McDonald House. In Albany, the 25 bedroom house has served over 650 families per year and is supported by a team of 200 active volunteers.

Within the Ronald McDonald House are themed rooms such as the ‘kid’s castle’ and ‘Saratoga summer’ guest rooms. There are computers, laundry facilities, fully stocked and brightly colored children play spaces, cozy quiet areas filled with books about coping, childhood illness and inspiration books, and much more.

In addition to a place to lay their head, the Ronald McDonald House also provides The Family Room and Family Suite, both comfortable havens within the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center. Here families can find support and a comfortable respite, while remaining close to their ill child and caregivers. Located right next to the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units and staffed by compassionate volunteers, the program offers a refuge from the stress and tension of the hospital environment.

This year’s Final Fashion Finale is even more important because The Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region is expanding what they offer to families in need with Krantz Cottage, a four-bedroom home in the Village of Lake George. 

Looking towards a September opening, this year-round destination will provide families time away to have a vacation and to be able to sit back, breathe and take it all in. 

These well deserving families will be given the chance to regroup, have all their needs met, and simply create love! The Krantz Cottage will have customized curated pantry with each families’ favorite foods. There will be gift cards to restaurants, passes to attractions and boat rides, among other gifts bestowed on the families. As Natalie described the Krantz Cottage, I imagine portrait of a family – not with IVs, monitors and hospital gowns, but one with the backdrop of the Adirondacks, sticky remnants of chocolate ice cream on little cheeks, and of a family sharing lasting memories.

Natalie closed up our conversation by stating that, even though this year is bittersweet for her, she could not be more excited. I fully expect that she will wax poetic about all the fun everyone had, such as the champagne toasts, and emotionally reminisce about our fabulous fashions from all the leading designers since the 90s.

Natalie then said, “I thank everyone for your support of the Ronald McDonald house all these years. I feel what is important is that we think we are just doing a fundraiser, but what we are actually doing is having a ‘friend-raiser!’ We are pulling more and more people into the compassionate web of support for the Ronald McDonald House, helping keep families close.” 

Limited tickets are still available for the Final Fashion Finale at:


Please note there will be a Special Champagne Toast event on Wednesday, August 21, from 7-9 pm at the Palette Cafe (493 Broadway) under Saratoga Trunk. This informal gathering will include a meet and mingle with Evelyn, Don and Pascal, and all other RMHC supporters. Donations are greatly appreciated, and no tickets are required.

2 Replies to “One Final Fabulous Fashion Finale!”

  1. It is the best event of the summer. This year will be special with lots of love and perhaps some tears – missing some of the wonderful trunkettes. Yet, will not cry because it’s going to be over but “Smile” because it happened.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: