5 min read

New Friends and Fashion at the MAC

New Friends and Fashion at the MAC

I’ve never modeled before and I’ve actually never had the desire to. But when Shawna suggested it could be a fun way for us MAC Makers to get involved with one of the club’s signature events they were looking to reinvigorate, I reluctantly agreed.  I had no idea I’d end up with two new friends that I might not have ever connected with otherwise.

If you weren’t able to attend the MAC Fashion Show on September 7, be sure to make it to the rooftop for this upbeat event next year. There were several different local designers featured, including two businesses owned by MAC members–NL Suits and Canela-Canela. Having a diverse group of members to model the looks was undoubtedly the best part of the event.

For a couple of hours before the show, the models had the chance to mingle and meet the designers as the final preparations were being made. This is when a friendly and striking woman approached me and said, “Hey, is your mom Patti Kashou? She and I used to wait tables together and get into mischief back in high school.” I immediately liked Beth Buresh, who also goes by Beppy. She has been a member of the MAC for 49 years with her husband Jack. She had modeled in the MAC Fashion Show in the past when the event was held in the Grand Ballroom.

Beth and Jack have been most involved with the MAC’s athletic offerings and call the game day package that the MAC offers for Packers and Badgers games a “true treasure of an experience.”

new friends!Beppy introduced me to another model and her friend, Jeanine Sweeney. Jeanine never misses a party at the MAC. She has also been a member for decades and admits that the people are her favorite part of the club.

The three of us immediately connected and shared a corner in the freight elevator backstage that became our makeshift dressing room. A comedy of error ensued as we frantically changed from each outfit to the next, trying to keep our place in the runway lineup.

After a few failed attempts to reconnect in person, we realized that our different lifestyles were likely why we hadn’t met until the fashion show night at the MAC. I have young kids at home, Beth (BB) lives in Mequon, and Jeanine (JS) often works late. So I solicited some of their comments via email to recap the event, with the promise of reconnecting in person very soon. Their responses were so funny, that I had to share them in their own words as you can see below.

Q: What made you want to model in the MAC Fashion Show this year? 

BB: “This year, I must admit that I saw the announcement that they were going to start this up again and I volunteered my ‘old geezer’ self! It was so much fun in the past, and always a great opportunity to meet new people. Jeanine was a huge part of the former shows, and she is the best! Sidney did a wonderful job pulling people and vendors together this year. Also, Brad and his crew made the event on the rooftop an amazing event on such a gorgeous perfect night! I love the fact that we are a very diverse group and so many new younger members are a plus for all of us. I am a believer in the fact that young and older models are always an opportunity to reach a very diverse membership. When I received word that Jeanine was involved, I thought it would be a blast and recreate many fun memories from years ago.”

JS: “I saw that Beppy was doing it so I just signed up. Seriously, I wasn’t even aware of the details of the show, but I received a request to take part and was so flattered. How many 56-year-olds get asked to model in a fashion show? How could I refuse? In recent years, MAC Women have jumped in to coordinate the event. It was truly a labor of love. But, as with all things worthwhile, it was a sizable time commitment for the group. So, when Sidney took the reins, my curiosity was piqued. She did a fabulous job and I’m hoping next spring we can all pitch in and make it our best show ever.”

Q: What was your favorite part of this year’s event?

BB: “It would have to be meeting the other models and folks involved in the show. Such a diverse group of members. There were vendors who I had never heard of, and it was so fun to model such funky clothing and be involved in all that energy. We women models certainly became creative and fast with the changes in cramped quarters but were successful in making it to that runway. Loved the wonderful crowd and they made you feel like a celebrity on the runway! The lighting and intimate audience seating was truly awesome!”

JS: “Getting dressed (and undressed) in the back hallway with seven girls, no time and one mirror–I laughed harder than I have in years! Oh, and the very kind words and energetic applause from friends, old and new, lining the red carpet was the best.”

Q: Which look was your favorite?

BB: “That is a hard question. Every outfit was very different and it was so fun to try something funky and new. I think the chocolate brown satin long skirt and shell topped with the ivory leather jacket was my favorite. I actually was supposed to model a hot pink leather jacket from SHOP with jeans and a white blouse, but that was scrapped at the last minute. I loved the jeans and how they fit so much that I bought them home with me that night. My husband connected with Jess from SHOP and surprised me with the leather jacket and blouse for our 51st anniversary.”

JS:  “I cannot pick just one, have you seen my closet? I loved the white satin bias-cut skirt ensemble with over-the-top accessories from Canela-Canela and an ivory off-the-shoulder sweater dress from SHOP.”

Jenna Kashou
Beth Buresh-1
Jeanine Sweeney

Pictured: Jenna (left), Beth (middle), and Jeanine (right)

Because both Jeanine and Beth have been members for so long, I wanted to hear their opinions about the new MAC.

Q: What has surprised you the most about the MAC since it was renovated and reopened?

BB: “I think the membership and the median age and youthful energy around the club. There are a lot of young people and families participating in many different activities together. The planning and all the little details for the overall construction of the renovated areas is very impressive. The beautiful, functional locker rooms, pool area aesthetics and gorgeous rooftop amenities with a beautiful view of the city is the best there is!”

JS: “There are so many young people – I love it! They’re energetic, positive, interesting, engaging and awesome. They’re creating memories and energizing the whole building. Bonus – many have little kids, adorable little mini-MAC’ers who will be future MAC members and undoubtedly, pillars of the Milwaukee community.”

Q: How do you continue to use the MAC to reach your wellness goals?

BB: “I have been a physical educator for over 53 years and I embrace all forms of physical exercise. I love the group classes like spinning and yoga, and water aerobics to recharge and meet up with friends. I have made many friends over so many years at the MAC. Reconnecting together in just a mundane spot like the women’s locker room is a beautiful way to recharge and socialize. Many of the members whom I have known for years feel so grounded and comfortable at our treasured MAC. Taking time for our emotional and social wellness is easy to do at the MAC.”

JS: “The MAC has always been my home away from home in Milwaukee. When my ex-husband first introduced me to the club, it was our ‘happy place,’ and has remained as such for over three decades. I realize I may sound like a broken record, but our most treasured friendships began, were nurtured, and continue to thrive within the walls of this club. The MAC has kept us in pretty great shape, physically, emotionally, and professionally, for decades. And the new MAC is almost as amazing as the friendships that began here!”

Both Beth and Jeanine agreed that they would model again in the future. I’d love to watch the show from the audience next year but look forward to continuing to grow my friendship with these two wonderful women.

click here to download the membership guide

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