‘DIANA’ event to Benefit St. Louis Foster Children Wishing to Attend Southeast


by News Bureau on Monday, Jan. 09, 2012


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 9, 2012 – A group of St. Louis alumni of Southeast Missouri State University and Angels’ Arms of St. Louis have joined with the St. Louis 35th Annual Builders Home and Garden Show in February to provide support for St. Louis foster children wishing to attend Southeast Missouri State University.

A portion of the proceeds from each ticket purchased to a VIP pre-opening event Feb. 23 to view “DIANA, The People’s Princess” exhibit will benefit St. Louis Cares. The exhibit features several of the late Princess Diana’s gowns.

On display as part of the exhibit will be: • The John Travolta dress Diana wore in 1985 when she danced with Travolta at the White House at a State dinner hosted by President and Mrs. Reagan.• A black halter with bugle bead trim worn by the Princess in 1994 to Versailles and also in the Vanity Fair issue which promoted the 1997 Christie’s Charity Sale. • A burgundy tailcoat ensemble with heavy pearl and gold thread embroidery on both the front and back of the coat. The Princess’s designer had realized the Princess was photographed from every angle and designed both the front and back to be of visual interest.• A green sequin “Dynasty” dress worn by the Princess around 1990.• A cream and pink sequin dress the Princess wore during an official State visit to Brazil and also to a movie premiere where she was photographed with actress Liza Minnelli.

Event co-sponsor, St. Louis Cares, is a group of St. Louis area Southeast alumni dedicated to raising funds for and providing other means of support for Angels’ Arms and other St. Louis foster children wishing to attend Southeast Missouri State University. The group also works with Southeast alumni and friends to endow scholarships to assist St. Louis students with financial need to attend Southeast.

The VIP Pre-opening event being held at the St. Louis 35th Annual Builders Home & Garden Show is scheduled for 9-10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, at the America’s Center & Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Tickets are $25. Regular tickets to attend the event from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, and Friday, Feb. 24, are $10. Tickets for either day include admission to the Builders Home & Garden Show. A portion of each ticket purchased through the Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association at www.stlcares.com goes to St. Louis Cares.

“DIANA, The People’s Princess” is a compelling story of the life of one of the most iconic people in recent history. The life journey of the beloved Princess – mother, fashion icon and humanitarian – is told through a carefully crafted, 6,000 square foot, museum quality tour through Lady Diana’s life –her personal possessions and a sampling of the royal dresses Diana chose to auction for charity. The “DIANA, The People’s Princess” exhibition showcases five of these famous gowns.

“DIANA, The People’s Princess” is a professionally curated exhibition of the dresses and accompanying informational panels explaining Princess Diana’s journey from childhood to royal princess to global humanitarian.

“This exhibit has never been in St. Louis before. This will be the first time it has been accessible in this area,” said Sam Duncan, director of development with the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

“This is a great cause,” he added. “The idea of assisting foster children in St. Louis to get the kind of support they need to be successful college students is critical. Seventy percent of foster children want to go to college, but only 10 percent reach that goal and only one percent graduate. With this amazing group, Angels’ Arms, we have an opportunity to do something really remarkable in St. Louis for students with a well-defined need. As alumni, we feel Southeast is the best place for them to be. A portion of the proceeds from every ticket sold will go towards our endowment to help these students achieve this goal.”

The exhibit is the result of efforts by Maureen Rorech Dunkel, a successful businesswoman and philanthropist from Tampa, Fla., who anonymously purchased 14 gowns of the late Princess Diana at auction just weeks before the Princess’ unexpected death.

Influenced both by the outpouring of public grief following the Princess’ tragic death and the Princess’ dedication to global humanitarian activities, Rorech Dunkel made the decision to share the dresses with the public for their sentimental enjoyment and appreciation of their historical importance.

Gary Zide, creator and producer of the Home & Garden Show, contacted Dunkel to bring “DIANA, The People’s Princess” to this year’s show. Zide is a Southeast Missouri State University alumnus and among the leadership of St. Louis Cares.

St. Louis Cares works closely with Angels’ Arms. Angels’ Arms provides homes, resources and emotional support to experienced foster parents so they can raise the standard of care for foster children. Angels’ Arms strives to keep sibling groups together, and partners with foster parents, community supporters, organizations and other non-profits to provide a loving home environment and help children become successful citizens.

For tickets to “DIANA, The People’s Princess” exhibit on Feb. 23-24 or for more information, visit www.stlcares.com.