OMAHA, Neb. — The 11th Annual Max I. Walker Ultra Chic Boutique was a success again this year, the company reports, with both a new home and a new beneficiary of the funds raised.
The doors opened at 9 a.m. Feb. 3, the cleaners says, “at the event’s new home A View on State Street, to a line of several hundred excited shoppers. More than 100 volunteers manned the dressing rooms, rehung dresses and cashed out shoppers.”
Throughout the 6-hour sale, it indicates, $20,000 was raised for the Ultra Chic Boutique’s new partner, the Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter. The proceeds will be used to further the association’s mission of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias.
“Currently, five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease. That number is expected to triple to 15 million by 2050,” says Lisa Walker Sekundiak, vice president of Max I. Walker and creator of the Ultra Chic Boutique. “We need to find a cure for this terrible disease, and the only way to move forward with that is through funding.”
For ten years, the sale benefitted Omaha’s Open Door Mission’s Lydia House emergency services program for women and children; $125,000 total was given, the firm notes. But the Walker family now has a personal tie to Alzheimer’s, so the change in partners made sense at this juncture.
“The annual sale,” it notes, “offers gently used gowns for just $30 each, regardless of original value or brand, with all proceeds going to charity.”
Around 3,000 wedding, formal, prom and little black dresses were collected from Omaha and the surrounding communities throughout 2017, which Max I. Walker Cleaners employees cleaned and pressed at no charge, then stored until the big day.
The Ultra Chic Boutique began in 2007 with a few hundred donated dresses and a small space to sell the gowns. The concept has evolved into an event housed in a 12,000-square-foot venue, which includes fashion shows, The Dress FlipTM design competition, a dress raffle, vendors and thousands of gowns.
Family-owned Max I. Walker cleaners was founded by Max I. Walker on March 17, 1917. Over the years, it has grown from a small route business to a company with hundreds of employees serving 24 locations in Omaha, Papillion and Bellevue, Neb., and Council Bluffs, Iowa.