Designer Ricky Da'Vista Partners with American Lung Association of the Northeast

Da’Vista to donate portion of proceeds in grandmother’s memory

(March 14, 2014)

On Sunday, March 23, Ricky “Trendy” Da’Vista, a Hartford resident and wardrobe stylist, hosts The 5th Annual Xperience The “Trendy” Walk Fashion Show Gala at The Aria in Prospect, CT. Last year, 500 attended the event and Da’Vista expects no different in 2014. In addition to Ricky’s lifelong passion for fashion, he also has a passion for giving back. A portion of the proceeds from all ticket sales will be donated to the American Lung Association of the Northeast, in honor of Ricky’s grandmother, Gertrude Davis, who passed away 12 years ago after a long battle with emphysema.

“My fifth annual show is going to be one to look out for. We have added new elements, designers, and I know each guest will be engaged," said Da'Vista. "This time of year always brings me joy and is a time of remembrance. I am fortunate to be able to donate a portion of our ticket sales to our annual partner, the American Lung Association of the Northeast. My donation is the least I can do to make sure guests are informed about the organization."

Ricky and Britney
Ricky (L) with Britney Martin of the American Lung Association of the Northeast at his 2013 fashion show

Ricky remembers his grandmother as “loving” and says that they were always close. Being one of 11 grandchildren and several more great grandchildren, they still had a very close bond and Ricky often took his grandmother to her appointments after her diagnosis. He can also remember how in the last years of her life, his grandmother needed an oxygen tank just to breathe. She was a longtime smoker. “Despite her illness, she never asked anyone for help,” said Da’Vista. “She never complained.”

When last year’s fashion show happened to fall on his grandmother’s birthday, he knew that he had to do something to honor her memory. “With all that the American Lung Association does, it is a must to work with them and also to give back,” said Da’Vista. “With the fashion show falling on her birthday, it’s only right.” The show once again falls on March 23 - Ricky’s grandmother’s birthday.

“We believe that no one should struggle to breathe. That’s why in addition to funding valuable research, we are focused on both helping people quit smoking and keeping kids from ever starting to smoke. Fewer smokers means fewer people with tobacco-caused diseases,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “We are honored that Ricky has chosen to make a gift to the Lung Association through his annual fashion show; it is such a wonderful way to honor his grandmother.”

Emphysema is a lung disease that destroys lung tissue, reduces the elasticity of the lung and leads to the collapse of the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Anywhere from 80-90% of emphysema patients are former or current smokers. A diagnosis of emphysema can often lead to other health problems, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, more commonly known as COPD. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States and affects more than 13 million Americans.

The 5th Annual Xperience The “Trendy” Walk Fashion Show Gala begins promptly at 8 p.m. and guests are invited to walk the red carpet starting at 7 pm. The Aria Wedding & Banquet Facility is located at 45 Murphy Road in Prospect, CT. Tickets are available, though limited, at www.eventbrite.com. Donations can be made to the American Lung Association of the Northeast from the site or at LungNE.org/donate.

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About the American Lung Association of the Northeast
The American Lung Association of the Northeast serves CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI and VT. We are part of the American Lung Association, the oldest voluntary health organization in the U.S. Established in 1904 to combat tuberculosis; our mission today is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. The focus is on air quality, asthma, tobacco control, and all lung disease. www.LungNE.org