Spotlight on benefit fashion show for Joyce McGown

| May 20, 2014
Jeanie Summerville

Jeanie Summerville

By Jeanie Summerville

Whatz up, babies?

As always, I hope all is well with you and yours and that, you’re still taking some time out on a daily basis to bring yourselves and others some joy, beauty, happiness and some form of peace of mind as we travel on our journey of love to get to know one another better.  On that note, I’m going to share with you a little bit about the person that’s being spotlight this week.  Joyce and I were born on the same day, the same year at the same hospital and both of our first names start with a J.  Joyce and I go way back and so I know some of the beauty, joy, happiness and laughter that she brought and brings to the community from her heart.  She’s a very hard worker and she even had seven jobs so she was past being a Jamaican if you know what I mean and it pleases me to call her friend.  So, at this time all we want you to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy.  Or, stand and jump and shout if you want to!  You can do that because Frost Illustrated is gonna take you there and this is what’s going on:

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers.  My name is Jean Perry and I’m a hair designer, fashion coordinator and a model.  And, on Sunday May 18, 2014, I’m putting on a benefit fashion show for my business partner Joyce McGown.  It will take place at the American Legion Post 148 that’s located at 705 E. Lewis St., here in Fort Wayne.  The theme is Still Blooming and Springing Forward and that‘s what we intend to do that day.  The reason that I’m doing this is because she recently had a stroke and I feel that she pretty much knows the community and goes above and beyond the call of duty for the community.  So I felt, it’s now her turn that the community does something for her.  Most stroke victims know that there are some setbacks but she’s doing fine, yet she has a long way to go.  

Jean Perry

Jean Perry

Joyce McGown (left) and her daughter Ruby. (Photo: Jeanie Summerville)

Joyce McGown (left) and her daughter Ruby. (Photo: Jeanie Summerville)

“I started modeling at the age of two. My mother was a seamstress that did hair on the side.  After growing up, I too do hair and I continued on with modeling through high school.  Joyce and I go back to high school modeling and we’ve done fashion shows for the last 30 years together.  So my thing is, I know what she likes being that we’re family, best friends and partners so I felt this would uplift her spirits.  Joyce can’t wait and she’s very excited.  We’ll have lots of surprises for her and I chose the Legion because Joyce is a member, it’s a nice location and a lot of people know Joyce through the Legion and through all of the fashion shows that we’ve given there, so we have followers.  

“I want to thank all of those that I called to model for this benefit and the models that have modeling with Joyce and I over the last 30 years.  So, I thank Donna Grundy-Howell, Geraldine Gaston, Nikita, Eddie James Arrington, Adam and the list goes on.  I appreciate everybody and the community for your support and I want to see a huge crowd.  I want Fort Wayne to turnout and as the young folk say, ya’ll we need to turn this one up for Joyce because if anybody knows her, like I know her, she likes to turn it up.  So, I want us to turn it up for Joyce McGown.  Doors open at 4 p.m., show time  5p.m. and for ticket information contact me at (260) 446-8807 or on Facebook.”

This is absolutely beautiful to me and I hope it’s just as beautiful to you, so know we continue.

“Hello Frost Illustrated readers.  I’m Joyce McGown and I understand that they’re doing this for me but they don’t have to because whatever I do, I do from my heart, that’s what I do.  I take care of people because I love people and it’s not because I want something back in return.  So please don’t think that it’s something that I asked for because I didn’t.  When I was informed of what they’re going to do for me I was like, I don’t need it you guys I’m all right.  And, they said, no!  ‘It’s for you because you always give back.’  That just made me feel more than special and I was ready to stick my chest out.  On that night, I’m just going to sit and enjoy it.  Also, in knowing Jean, I don’t know what to expect when I walk into the room that evening but I do know, it’s going to be correct and I’ll just stay humble until I see.  I think it’s so beautiful what Jean is doing for me.  

“I’m glad that she’s having my benefit fashion show at American Legion Post 148 because they’re constantly giving back to the community through scholarships and other things.  And, back in the day, Jean, Jeff Kenney and myself owned Fashion Strutt and I did the first fashion show there with Sqeek Causey when they first built the new one and I did the last fashion show when the Legion was next door.

“I’ve been a member since 1992 and that’s for 20 something years, that I’ve been doing fashion shows at the Legion and to Commander Jesse Booker, congratulations on another year and I’ll get better and I’ll be back.”

Now, brace yourselves babies because she’s going to share how her stroke happened:

“On March 3, of this year, I was at work at Community Care Pharmacy and Mr. Butler told me that I didn’t look good and for me to go across the hall to get my blood pressure checked and I did.  My blood pressure was 230/110 and I was told to go home and go to sleep so I did.  But before going to sleep, I text my daughter Ruby and informed her what was going on.  When my daughter came home, she slammed the door and it woke me up and it felt like a thousand bees were on my face stinging me and she asked, why would I come home with my blood pressure being that high and I said I was doing what I was told to do.  So she said, she’s taking me to the hospital and when she put my shoes on and I stood up I stroked out.  Which means, I just had a stroke and passed out and hit the floor.  When we got to the hospital the doctor told my daughter that if she had not woke me up at that particular time, I would have slipped away.  

“After I was admitted, they came in with this wheel chair and said, I’m going to have to sit in it because I’m going to be paralyzed and I said, no I’m not!  You’ll can take that wheelchair out of my room because I am not to be paralyzed!  Even though, at that time, I couldn’t move anything on my right side so I had a talk with GOD.  That very next morning, I could move everything on my body.  I was just weak and I had to learn how to walk again but I could move my fingers, toes, arms, legs and I was not paralyzed that next day.  I stayed in the hospital for about 15 days then I came home and I’m all right and I’m just taking it one day at a time because I’m still Joyce.  GOD has a plan for me and HE has something for me to do and I know what it is, I just got to do it and I will because that’s what I do.          

“This time my daughter Ruby McGown saved my life and 20 years ago my mother whose name was also Ruby McGown saved my life when she found out I was a diabetic.  I told her that I couldn’t see and I was a big clown back then and she said, ‘Aw, Joyce, quit clowning.’  Then she gave me a urine test and made me think that she forgot about it.  Then she said, come here baby, come take me to the hospital to get my medicine.  Dummy me, knowing she didn’t get her medicine from the hospital but from the drugstore.  So barely being able to see, I took her to the hospital and once we arrived, the doctors knew her and said, ‘Mrs. McGown what’s the matter?  Who are we here to see today?’  And, she pointed to me and I said, ‘What you need to see me for?’  My blood sugar was 972 and the doctor asked me how was I walking around?  I told him, I’m fine can we do this tomorrow?  He said, ‘No!  Your room number is 368’ and I had to stay there for two weeks to get my blood sugar down because I didn’t realize what being a diabetic was.  But, my mother did and he told me that my mother saved my life.  So now, both people who saved me are named Ruby McGowan.  And now, my daughter Ruby is my Guardian Angel because my mother’s gone.  

“I hope this benefit fashion show will be a great success for Jean because whatever she does, she puts her heart into it and I don’t want her to be disappointed.”    

Now in closing I say, Great job, Jean!  And, I’ll be there to capture this beautiful event, in the name of love, to bring the fun and excitement to our readers through photos on our website.  I hope, that a lot of people will be present there, so they can show their love as well for Joyce and be included in some of the photo‘s.  Joyce, I’m so happy that your mother and daughter Ruby saved you because, in this thing called life, I’d miss you too much if you were taken away.  So until next week, you’ve been Up Close with Jeanie.  Bye, bye, babies.

P.S.  If you or someone you know are in the Arts & Entertainment Industry and would like the SPOTLIGHT shined on “You” so that we can have some more fun, joy, beauty and happiness, all in the name of love, just send me an e-mail to  I’d love to hear from ya.

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Category: Events, Features, Local

About the Author ()

Brenda Robinson is an NNPA Emory O. Jackson award-winning columnist for Frost Illustrated.

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