I’ve led many special events. This one might have taken the cake.

Cowan Christian Church

Over the years, I’ve put together all kinds of different events. During my youth ministry days, we hosted all kinds of major events. We had Super Bowl parties and Volunteer Appreciation Nights and almost everything in between. The “Saw You at the Pole” rallies were always fun. I put together big concert events, including a major grand opening of a firehouse-turned-teen-outreach center. We had hundreds of teens and adults at that event. We called the building the Fire Escape, from Jude 23.

Save others by snatching them from the fire Jude 23

That event was pretty stinkin’ cool.

When I was preaching in Muncie, we hosted a “safe alternative to door-to-door trick or treating” called Trunk or Treat. It was a huge hit. Kids and their parents looked forward to our Trunk or Treat every year. We were able to make it bigger and better every single year, in spite of the bitter wind that cut through our church’s front lawn during the Trunk or Treat. It became a big stinkin’ deal.

And it was pretty stinkin’ cool.

Of course, during those days as a pastor,  I planned many weekly worship services. I also helped execute special services like Candlelight Christmas Eve services and Maundy Thursday services. There were also Mother-Daughter Banquets and church Homecoming celebrations. From fun to contemplative  to everything else in between, I’ve done quite a bit of event planning and coordinating and execution.

I know what it’s like to swing for the fences and leave it all on the field, to borrow a few sports cliches. After the last person has gone home and the last chair has been put away? I know that feeling. It’s utter exhaustion. You sleep well on nights like that. Because everything that could go well went well. The things you were worried about the previous night? They worked themselves out.

You’re worn out. Exhausted. Spent. All of the energy that led up to the major event is gone. You’re left with nothing in your spiritual, emotional, and physical tank except a few fumes.  It’s one of the most amazing feelings in the world when you’ve given everything you’ve got and pulled off something amazing.

That’s pretty stinkin’ cool.

I have to tell you, friends, that I was recently part of something that might be one of the top events I’ve ever helped pull off. On Saturday, September 16, we*** hosted the Fourth Annual Fashion Show and Silent Auction Fundraiser for Gateway Services.  After more than three months of preparation and promotion, this event was a thing of beauty. The place was packed. And the room was beautiful. The silent auction was a huge success. But the main reason we do this fashion show is because of the models.

Photo from Gateway Services 4th Annual Fashion Show and Silent Auction 2016 events


Yes. The models.

Many of our models were clients of ours. And we were able to pamper them and treat them like the beautiful stars that they are. Because of this fashion show, we’re able to help raise awareness about what we do at Gateway Services. Because of this fashion show, we can raise funds that help provide much-needed services for people in our community who, quite honestly, are easily ignored or pushed to the fringes. Thanks to some TV coverage, we were able to share our story and our mission throughout central Indiana. And because of this fashion show, we were able to create an amazing, memorable day full of magical experience for our models.

Our models. Our stars. They are superstars.

I had the distinct honor of escorting each of our models to a waiting room after they took their turns on the runway.


I pride myself in being able to tell a memorable story. I like to think that I can weave a tapestry with words to describe a feeling or an event. Right now?  Even more than a week later?

Words fail me.

I can’t begin to describe the absolute joy I saw as our models walked off the runway. They were beaming. I think the only other time I’ve seen such giddiness on someone’s face is at a wedding. This event is that special.

Seriously. It’s amazing.

So don’t be surprised, friends, if I share more about the Fifth Annual Fashion Show and Silent Auction throughout the year. Because, oh yes, we’re having another one of these. And it will be amazing.

I would love to partner with you in whatever way we can to make next year’s even bigger and even better. Don’t be surprised if I wind up bugging you about this. Because it was amazing this year. And it will be even more amazing next year.

I promise.

Because it’s pretty stinkin’ cool.

Don’t wait for me to share more about it here, though! You can always like the Fashion Show’s facebook page, follow Gateway Services on Instagram, and Twitter.**** I mean, that would be pretty stinkin’ cool. Wouldn’t you agree? 

*I’ll be honest, I totally stole borrowed the name from a similar ministry in Kingsport, Tennessee. But we used it. Because it worked.

**Esther’s Request has always been my favorite. There will always be a soft spot in my heart for them.

***In case you missed it, I began working for Gateway Services as an Employment Advisor back in June.

****Especially Twitter. We could use some followers. I know, I know. Shameless plug.

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Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

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