Seventeen members of Off the Field Players' Wives Association, a charitable organization for spouses of active and retired NFL players, took to the runway today at the 12th Annual Off The Field Fashion Gala. Featuring a fashion show by Saks Fifth Avenue and hosted by the Sheraton Hotel, the event raised money for charities and highlighted the NFL's unsung heroes.
"We're used to rooting for our teams on the field, so it's nice to see the ladies behind the men," said host Dawn Neufeld, a cast member of VH1's Football Wives. "All the money goes back to raising funds for the New Orleans Family Justice Center and the 34 Ways Foundation."
The fashion show, a silent auction, brunch, appearances by a brass band and a Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief, and an impromptu second line were among the event's highlights. Gayle Benson, Gretchen Bradford, Leah Chase, The Krewe of Muses and Donna Richardson Joyner were honored as Women of Impact. Inspirational fitness video maven Joyner signed copies of her book, Witness to Fitness, and concluded her speech by asking audience members to stand and tell one another, "All things are possible."
"This is the 10th time we've hosted the premier sporting event, and I can't think of a better way to show that my hometown of New Orleans is the greatest city in the world," Benson said. "Our vision is simple: Host the Super Bowl better than ever before and leave positive footprints behind."
Model Beverly Lofton, wife of James Lofton, echoed these sentiments. "It's so nice to be in New Orleans," she said. "Everyone I talk to in the NFL wants the Super Bowl to be here."