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The loss of a love one is never easy, especially when you lose them to something as abrupt as violence. Something that we StLiens are all too familiar with, given that we rank in top 10 for violent cities damn near yearly. MLK once said “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”. I’m going to take the liberty of saying I’m pretty sure that when he said “man” he meant mankind including women. Now   if you’re anything like most young urbanites (read black people) someone is taken from you, what happens next is that you’ll probably put their likeness on a r.i.p tee and pull it out every so often to reminisce on birthday and holidays. However if you have a lil gumption about yourself then I’m sure you would love to see change within your community and wearing one t-shirt won’t ever be enough. Think about the situation, someone is taken from this earth and leaves behind countless others with a void. Think about yourself how would you want your legacy to live on. Hopefully you have someone in your life with half of the aspirations and gumption (yes I used that word twice) as the homie Kandie Williams and her family affair Team B.E.N.O. Spurred by the loss of her nephew Donveion J. Williams Sr. on August  28th 2011, known to friends and family as B3NO Good, to start a non-profit organization to Bring 3veryone New Opportunities. Primarily helping out High School students that have lost a parent to violence with $500 scholarships, then also hosting family themed events throughout the year. I got a chance to speak with the homie to get a little bit more info.

Team B.E.N.O has a Fashion Show coming up soon, what can you tell us about that? – The R3SURR3CTION will be held Sunday, September 30, 2012 at the Sheraton downtown St. Louis on 400 S 14th street. Doors open at 5:30 show will start promptly at 6:00pm. They can expect nothing less than pure entertainment! Since this is a charity fashion show it’s gonna be different from the regular fashion show scene. I want the patrons to not only enjoy the fashion they see, but the overall atmosphere.  I have a number of different hosts that will surely keep the crowd entertained.

What about the designers in the show, who can we expect? I am introducing a lot of new designers at this fashion show. On the woman’s end I have Lady Pearl Boutique, Glamorized Fashions & Achi Couture. On the men’s end I have Kamanizi Klothing, Space kidz, Hero-Brand Clothing, Patches Clothing & of course TEAM B3NO will roll out our line! J

Will there be anything on hand to buy from the designers?  The designers will have their own area set up to sell their goods. Some of the designers do other things besides fashion, & they will present their other endeavors at this time.

The proceeds from the event are going towards scholarships is there a certain monetary goal you’re wanting to reach with this fashion show alone? Yes, I hope to raise enough money to fund our first two scholarships; which means I need at least 100 people to attend this event!!  LOL GET YOUR TICKETS PEOPLE

Team B.E.N.O also is producing shirts with some witty lines… What are some of the taglines from the line of shirts your team is producing and what do they mean to you personally? Our taglines include: Hate is Love, Love is Pain, BeNoGood, & Show No Love. We will roll out some new ones but you gotta be in the building to see the New Hotness!! I like to call this line the LOVE LINE. The Hate is Love is actually one of the first customized t-shirt my nephew had made through Patches Clothing. We used that as our starting point & just added on from there. Hate is Love pays homage to all haters.  The shirt lets them know that we recognize that in the end it’s all love.

You’ve been in the St. Louis fashion scene for a while, how is this time different and what are bringing new to it? It’s very different for me because now I’m not only participating in this show; I actually put this show together.  I’m going to bring the fun back to fashion. Fashion Shows are always so serious & just straight to the point. They tend to be very time consuming for the designers models etc. This will be a very smooth flowing show, but most importantly I want the participants & the attendees to enjoy themselves. I want laughs, I want smiles, I want people to anticipant attending the show again next year.

How/where can students find information about applying for the scholarship? Our website is in the works. Students will be able to access it directly from there. We will personally contact all schools in the St. Louis area and make it our business to get our application into the counselors office; or whichever area of the school that helps the students w/furthering their education.

Whats the most important lesson you’ve learned thus far about the entire process that you would like to share?  The old saying is true; to achieve something new you’ve gotta do something new!! That’s w/a lil twist on it. I’ve really had to put myself out there, not as Kandie of Patches, or Kandie the model but Kandie of TEAM B3NO. So I would say don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. People can’t support what they don’t know about!!

Thanks for the info Kandie… People make sure you show support and help the kids. Truly a picture worth a thousand words…

B. Reason