Men’s fashion show supports local hospital and shop local movement

·3 min read

If you’re making the transition back to the office and want to get a few ideas for new looks to take back to your team, you can see some sleek new threads in action November in a fundraiser benefiting not only our local hospital but a local Aurora business.

On Wednesday, November 10, Mike Rathke, owner of Aurora’s MR Menswear, will host a Whisky & Wine fundraiser and fashion show at Newmarket’s NewRoads Performing Arts Centre (formerly Newmarket Theatre).

Now in its eleventh year, proceeds from the event will support the most urgent needs currently being faced by the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre at Southlake Regional Health Centre and will feature a bevy of male models from Southlake’s team of physicians.

As a two-time cancer survivor, Mr. Rathke knows all too well the importance of having quality cancer care close to home, and has been a long-time supporter of the hospital long before he most urgently needed their services.

“It is a tradition for me regarding Southlake and the Cancer Centre there and I am glad the doctors are involved again this year,” he says. “We have got six doctors modelling for us and they are each going to be up there twice. We’ll be dressing them right from the average gentleman going to the office all the way down to casual wear and vacation attire.

“As a two-time cancer survivor, the amount of people in this Town who supported me when I was going through it four years ago was just incredible. I started donating at the hospital in 2002 and these efforts have just gotten bigger and bigger.”

Since he began hosting these events, Mr. Rathke estimates they have raised over $60,000 for local care and he’s determined to bring in more this year than ever.

“It is a great feeling, for sure, to be celebrating the hospital this way, and we have just got to continue,” says Mr. Rathke, whose business was, like countless others throughout COVID-19, hit particularly hard by lockdowns and subsequent restrictions. “With Christmas coming up, I am so looking forward to people going back to their offices and coming to pick up their outfits. I got a little excited back in September when I had three people come in the first week [we reopened] saying they were going back to the office three days a week and needed outfits. I thought, ‘Oh, that’s promising,’ but I haven’t seen anybody since – it’s Zoom meetings, a lot of people are still wearing shirts and ties but just jeans below the desk.”

If you’re looking for ways to step up your workplace fashion game – or even find some alternatives to the below-the-desk jeans that have become a hallmark of the last 19 months – consider coming out to the Whiskey, Wine & MR Menswear Fashion Show on November 10.

Doors open at 6.30 p.m. with whiskey sampling, wine tasting and food, with the fashion show hitting the catwalk at 7.45 p.m. General admission tickets are $75 with all ticket sale proceeds going directly to the Southlake Foundation.

Southlake Regional Health Centre’s Stronach Regional Cancer Centre serves close to 1.5 million people of York Region, North York, and South Simcoe County. Southlake sees more than 12,000 chemotherapy and supportive treatment visits, more than 29,000 radiation treatment sessions, and nearly 66,000 outpatient visits in a year.

“This is a great cause to support local business but also an organization that serves the whole community,” says Mr. Rathke. “The locals all know me and have supported me through all this and I honestly don’t know how I could have done it without them. It’s a great little Town.”

For more information on the event, including ticket sales, visit southlake.ca/MRfashion.

Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran

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