The fabulous footwear competition may have received the top billing, but the real star of Tuesday’s West Valley Women luncheon was Charles “Chick” Klein, founder of The Clothing Shop, whose organization was the recipient of the networking group’s shoe drive.

Klein’s El Mirage shop allows pre-screened, disadvantaged community members to select from among the donated clothing and shoes. The shop began 26 months ago as a project of Parkway Christian Church in Surprise and is housed at Christian Liberty Center, 12101 N.W. Grand Ave. in El Mirage.

This was the second year West Valley Women conducted a shoe drive for the shop, and president Lisa Platt recognized the Daily News-Sun for its role in informing the community about the drives. After publishing a story last month previewing Tuesday’s event, a reader contacted Platt to donate a car trunk full of gently worn shoes, which Platt picked up herself.

West Valley Women members also donated dozens of pairs of new shoes for the shop.

Klein expressed his gratitude.

“The last (shoe drive) was so special because we do not receive new shoes,” Klein said.

Klein said the shop served its 13,000th customer that day. Customers are sent by referral through a number of city and state agencies, including the Department of Economic Security and school districts.

Next week, the shop will play host to the 5th Annual Buffalo Exchange, a 12-hour event targeting women in need. For information about the shop or to donate, call Klein at 623-329-8830.

The luncheon’s fabulous footwear contest was judged by Jeffrey Hattrick, afternoon tea maitre d’ at the Rita-Carlton Hotel in Phoenix.

The winners and runners-up were:

Most Beautiful:  Debbie Davis, Spatacular Sleekskin; runner-up Linda Tingstrom, Sew What.

So Sassy:  Brianne Englert, Teen Outreach Pregnancy; Deidra Viberg, ON Media.

Most Practical: Butch Harris, Global Gas Card; runner-up Marie Brennan, Deer Valley Educational Foundation.

Judges Choice: Phyllis C. Brown, Sunlife Magazine; Barbara Kendrick-Opre, Wolz’s Florist.

Completes the Outfit: Tara Tucker, My Stylin.

West Valley Women meets on the first Tuesday of each month at Skye Restaurant in Peoria. For information, call 602-263-3589, or visit

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