Boys’ & Girls’ Towns of Italy Raises over $125,000 - Featuring World-Renown Designer Carmen Marc Valvo At 51st Annual Fashion Show and Luncheon

Dec 15, 2013 1198

Boys' & Girls' Towns of Italy (BGTI), a nonprofit that empowers war refugee, migrant and at-risk youth living on the streets, announced that it raised over $125,000 on Wednesday, December 4 at its 51st Annual San Francisco Committee Fashion Show and Luncheon featuring the Spring 2014 collection of world-renown designer Carmen Marc Valvo. The funds will be used for BGTI's innovative youth development program where young people from over 18 different countries learn through self-government to lead, rather than become victims to their lives.

Over 500 women from the Bay Area enjoyed the fashion show and luncheon held at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Italian Consul General Mauro Battocchi and haberdasher Wilkes Bashford were also in attendance.

"I was thrilled to present my collection at the BGTI Fashion Show and Luncheon. BGTI is a wonderful organization and it is addressing the needs of the growing number of displaced youth in the world. There is so much suffering right now. BGTI gives young people the hope for a better tomorrow and life skills they will employ forever," said designer Carmen Marc Valvo.

Carmen Marc Valvo's elegant designs combine classic artistry and refinement in striking silhouettes designed to enhance and complement the inherent beauty of the female form. His unique ability to highlight a woman's best features through the flawless execution of color and fabric has made him a favorite of celebrities seeking an unforgettable look. Over the past 24 years, Carmen's stunning cocktail dresses and breathtaking couture gowns have graced some of the world's most glamorous and talented women, including Katie Couric, Angelina Jolie, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kate Winslet and Eva Longoria.

"I have been coming for nearly 25 years to the Girls' Town Fashion Show and Luncheon and I was thrilled to be a co-chairwoman with Marilyn Kinney this year. It is important to empower young women. We are so proud of the work we have done together over the past year to rebuild this committee and to create a community of women who are passionate about BGTI's innovative approach to youth development." said Romana Bracco, co-chairwoman.

BGTI's success lies in its innovative self-government approach. Young people who have fled war, violence, extreme poverty, human and sex trafficking live at the two campuses outside of Rome where they become citizens responsible for running their Town. They elect one another to positions such as mayor, judge, and commissioner and hold frequent assembly meetings to discuss the affairs of their Town. Through this activity, along with schooling and vocational training, they develop vital skills needed to integrate into and contribute to society as active, self-reliant adults.

"Our kids, all of them teenagers who come from some of life's grimmest situations—war, extreme poverty, abuse, human and sex trafficking —they all have something in common. They demonstrate their capacity to live together and run their Town, to develop beyond their pain and learn the vocational and life skills needed to successfully enter mainstream society. BGTI's community-based self-government approach provides them with these tools. And the kids run with them. I've seen them grow before my very eyes," said Executive Director Carrie Sackett.

Since its inception in 1945 by Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing, BGTI has been funded by a charitable community of American donors moved by the immigrant experience and a desire to give back. Boys' & Girls' Towns of Italy would like to thank its patrons for their generous and continued support over the past six decades. For more information or to make a donation, please email the Boys' & Girls' Towns of Italy New York office at [email protected] or visit our website at

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