Cover Stories

Serve in Style

Making St. Louis a better place to live for all is a noble goal, one the Veiled Prophet Foundation’s Community Service Initiative (CSI) is tackling with serious style. Each year, the CSI engages VP Ball participants in a variety of community service projects, ranging from food outreach programs, community beautification, building projects and more.

To celebrate its commitment to St. Louis and to raise funds for expanding is impact, the CSI will host the sixth annual VP Fashion Show Cocktail Party June 5 at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Themed ‘Work Gloves to White Gloves,’ the evening features live entertainment by the Toby Martin Trio and a stunning collection of evening gowns and accessories by Alexander McQueen and Moschino (donated by Project+Gallery, a commercial art space), as well as gowns by Gucci and Wai Ming, a St. Louis-based designer. Select gowns from the 2018 VP Ball also will be on display. Sponsors are Soft Surroundings, Butler’s Pantry, Luxco and Swift Print.

The CSI currently partners with 23 nonprofits. Funds from last year’s event helped staff 1,000 volunteer positions at dozens of community service projects. Among other efforts, the CSI funded and built an outdoor fitness and learning station for Great Circle, distributed more than 4,000 meals for Food Outreach, funded school supplies for the Beyond Housing Back to School event at Normandy High School, delivered more than 2,000 care packages to St. Louis First Responders, and created more than 1,400 care packages for deployed troops through Operation Sunscreen. “All of these projects require money, and each one benefits our fellow citizens in St. Louis,” says event co-chair Alden Pflager. “It’s wonderful to see members of the VP and their families come together for this great cause.”

Bill Wallace is a CSI committee member and president of Missouri Veterans Endeavor, a nonprofit that provides veterans with housing, therapy and other services. He will speak at the cocktail party about the significant impact the CSI has had on the organization. Volunteers from the Veiled Prophet have built a playground for veterans’ children, beautified their homes, planted privacy trees and more. “I can’t appreciate enough what the VP has done for our vets,” Wallace says. “Many of them are homeless and feel shame about their circumstances. When they see that their home is beautiful and inviting, it gives them hope and excitement about the future and helps us better engage them on their action plans.” Cecelia Fox, who was crowned Queen of Love & Beauty at the 2018 VP Ball, also will speak and will appear in a Wei Ming gown.

“The Fashion Show Cocktail Party is a celebration of our incredible volunteers and is the sole fundraiser that makes these projects possible,” says event co-chair Harriette Warren. Although the volunteer projects once were limited to include only girls walking in the VP Ball and their fathers, the whole family is now welcome. “The growing involvement we’ve seen in the CSI has been wonderful,” Warren says. “We all just want to make St. Louis the best it can be.”

The Community Service Initiative allows VP Ball participants and their families to volunteer for community betterment projects. The sixth annual ‘Work Gloves to White Gloves’ VP Fashion Show Cocktail Party is June 5 at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Pictured on the cover: Harriette Warren and Alden Pflager with Cecelia Fox (center). For more information about the event, visit

Cover design by Julie Steiler | Cover photo by Bill Barrett

Pictured at top: VP Fashion Show co-chairs Harriette Warren and Alden Pflager
Photo: Bill Barrett