Danny Price and Leanne Cook

Leanne Cook and Danny Price are the emcees for this year's "Evening on the Runway" event on Feb. 23. Leanne is dressed by Snazzy Rags: floral swing top with fringe detail from Ivy Jane, black Ponte Lysse leggings featuring faux leather inserts. Danny is dressed by Woodford Clothing: Byron sports coat, Robert Talbot dress shirt, Robert Jensen tie, Samuelsohn dress trousers.

They’ve gone from “splosting” to becoming Rome’s “fashionistas”

The SPLOST YES power duo of Danny Price and Leanne Cook are back in action. They’re this year’s celebrity emcees for “An Evening on the Runway,” a benefit for the Historic DeSoto Theatre Foundation presented by Redmond Regional on Feb. 23.

Not too long ago they were holding meetings and holding signs convincing Rome and Floyd County to vote for SPLOST. This time, the life-long friends will convince Romans of something completely different: that the Rome community can be fashionable, can support the DeSoto Theatre, can support downtown Rome boutiques and merchants, and can have a fun and entertaining evening, all of it at the same time.

Berry College attorney Danny Price is no stranger to the stage. Among other things, he’s been involved for many years in Rome Little Theatre productions at the DeSoto. Price currently serves on the board of the Historic DeSoto Theatre Foundation.

Cook is the senior director of marketing at Harbin Clinic and a long-time supporter of the DeSoto.

“The Runway Show is very important because it helps with our critical work of maintaining and renovating the DeSoto which is such a jewel of the community,” Price said. “Also because it encourages people to shop at our wonderful local merchants.”

Cook presents a different take — and a sense of humor — when talking about why she’s excited to participate in the show.

“First, because since we’ve been in high school, my friend Danny Price and I have been hamming it up together,” she said. “Also, I live to follow in Julia and Mary Hardin’s footsteps and to do anything that Andrea Pitts and Michelle Picon tell me to do,” she added, referring to last year’s emcees and to the director and producer of the show, respectively.

“And I love to shop at our local boutiques and will be able to see their looks up close and personal. Finally, I enjoy making my husband Joe Cook come to a fashion show.”

Price and Cook will introduce models representing over a dozen boutiques, hair salons and jewelry stores. Because of their community involvement, they know the majority of the models on stage and will add a personal touch as their friends come on stage.

In its third year, the DeSoto catwalk provides a platform for Rome boutiques to showcase their spring lines in a dynamic and entertaining environment. It also gives Redmond a stage during “Heart Month” to raise awareness for heart health for women, the leading cause of death in women in the United States.

“The show will be divided into several segments, all designed to showcase our impressive local fashion boutiques,” said Andrea Pitts, marketing director at Redmond Regional Medical Center and this year’s show director. “We will also incorporate all the event sponsors into the show, with shout-outs in the script and in other fun and unexpected ways.”

“Just as we want folks to stay in Rome to catch a play or a concert at the DeSoto, we want folks to stay and shop in Rome, said David Clonts, interim HDTF president. “We know they can find a wide variety of name brands and of new and popular styles, without having to travel to Atlanta. The DeSoto can play a crucial Rome in supporting Rome, especially our neighbors downtown.”

Gold sponsor boutiques featuring their spring fashions are Craze Boutique, Mel & Mimi, Rabbit’s Nest, Snazzy Rags, Spool of Dreams, Top Hat and Woodford Clothing, plus jewelry stores Ford, Gittings, & Kane and Greene’s Jewelers. Silver sponsor boutiques and a spa that will also be on stage are DoGood Boutique, Traditions of Rome, and Blue Water Aesthetics. Stella Blu Cosmetic Boutique once again will bring its glam squads to do makeup for all models.

Diamond sponsors supporting An Evening on the Runway are event partners Kelly Moore and Parker FiberNet, and Platinum Sponsors are Heritage Auto Group and Runnin’Wild Catering, the Patron Party sponsor. New this year as Gold Sponsors are Berry College, Harbin Clinic, and OTR Wheel Engineering, and returning is KB Aerial Imagery. Silver sponsors are Hardy Realty, Hometown Headlines, Off Broad at Hawthorn Suites, Rome Braves, Rome-Floyd Chamber, Southeastern Mills, V3TV, and Woodstock Furniture and Mattress Outlet.

An Evening on the Runway will begin at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23. The VIP Patron Party at Seven Hills Fellowship is from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $17 for general admission, $37 for Reserved seating and $77 for reserved seating with patron party.

All tickets may be purchased online at www.historicdesototheatre.org. For more information, call 706-591-8377 or email desototheatre@gmail.com.

All proceeds benefit the Historic DeSoto Theatre for the continued restoration and preservation of ‘The Jewel of Broad Street.”