From the covers of Vogue, Elle, Town & Country, Glamour and other magazines, a group of the world's most photographed models will take the stage at River Oaks Country Club on April 25th for the I Am Waters Foundation inaugural fundraiser, "Supermodels of the '80s." It will offer a striking juxtaposition of high-style glamour and homeless realities.
Former international model and Houston resident Elena Davis, I Am Waters founder, is bringing together Cheryl Tiegs, Kelly Emberg, Kim Alexis, Tony Spinelli, Jack Scalia and others to join her in the effort to raise funds and awareness for the foundation that provides bottled water, displaying words of inspiration, to the homeless.
I Am Waters serves 15 homeless shelters in Houston, Austin and Fort Worth, delivering 300,000 bottles last year.
"In both cases, people really don't percieve that models or the homeless are people who experience love, loss, pain or the realm of emotions that everyone else experiences."
Despite the fact that she enjoys all the comforts of a rich life today and despite her successful 15-year modeling career with Ford, Davis has a special affinity for the homeless, having lived on the edge as a child. She was raised in poverty in a single-family home, one of four children, and dropped out of school in the eighth grade.
"I was not homeless but I was raised a couple of precarious steps above homeless," she said. "So there are elements that I just feel very tied to with the homeless — the sense of not belonging, of transience, of deprivation."
As the volunteer head of I Am Waters, Davis works fulltime to further the foundation's reach and to give a voice to the homeless. Her goal is to raise enough funds to expand the foundation's capabilities in order to deliver 1 million bottles of water this summer.
Next week's luncheon, chaired by Lindsay Holstead with help from Terri Havens, will spotlight the life of supermodels and one aspect that Davis says these runway stars share with the homeless — objectification.
"They represent the two polar opposites of objectification. Models are highly visible. The homeless are invisible," she said. "But in both cases, people really don't percieve that models or the homeless are people who experience love, loss, pain or the realm of emotions that everyone else experiences.
"There is a huge objectification component that goes into both groups."
Davis' modeling friends will address that subject as well as discuss the glamorous side of what it was like to be a top model in the 1980s. Reservations are available here.