One-year-old Allie Matthews is still far too young to appreciate the glamour of burlesque dance and vintage-style fashion. However Allie and her family are the inspiration for a special, glittering event that will be held in Canberra by Miss Kitka’s House of Burlesque and The Darling Sisters on 18 August at the Canberra Irish Club.
Baby Allie was born with biliary atresia: a rare disease that destroys the bile ducts in the liver. Since her birth, Allie’s parents have found themselves constantly travelling between their home in Canberra and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, usually at the drop of a hat, for Allie’s tests and treatment. She has been waiting for liver transplant since December last year.
‘Caring for little Allie has meant that her parents have put their lives on hold,’ says Canberra’s burlesque dance teacher, Miss Kitka. ‘It has been a serious day-to-day struggle, emotionally and financially.’
Allie’s Angels is a collaborative fundraising initiative by Canberra burlesque school Miss Kitka’s House of Burlesque, and The Darling Sisters, owners of the Gold Creek fashion boutique Darling Central.
‘The purpose of Allie’s Angels is to show support and raise funds for Allie’s family to help manage the costs of their daughter’s condition,’ says Miss Kitka.
The two-hour show will feature performances by some of Canberra’s highly talented burlesque dancers, and a fashion parade showcasing brand new ‘modern bombshell’ styles from Darling Central. Cherry Lush, a burlesque performer in Sydney, will be MC for the show, introducing performers such as Deb Delicious and Cherry Blossom – respective Kitten of the Year winners. There will also be signed merchandise from Angie Pontani and Dita Von Teese to raffle on the night.
‘It will be an old-fashioned evening: not too grown-up and a lot of fun,’ says Miss Kitka. ‘You can really frock up and have a special night out – plus it gives the public and business an opportunity to make a real difference for Allie.’
Just a day short of her 1st birthday (13 July) Allie was lucky enough to receive a liver transplant and is now recovering in hospital in Sydney. It will not be a quick process: Allie’s family still has a long road ahead of them.
‘Allie is the sweetest, happiest little girl,’ says Miss Kitka. ‘Despite so much trauma in her young life she remains upbeat. She is inspirational. We really hope that the funds raised by Allie’s Angels will help Allie’s family to manage her recovery and get their lives back into order.’
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