Calgary orphan creates fundraising fashion show for women in need in honour of his late mom

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WATCH: A “first of its kind” fundraiser for the Women In Need Society was inspired by a man who was orphaned when he was a young boy. As Jill Croteau reports, the loss has led to a meaningful tribute for his mother – May 9, 2019

A unique fundraiser in honour of a special mom, has proven to be a full circle moment for 41-year-old Haslyn Klass, who lost his mother when he was only eight years old.

Daphne was in her early 40s when she died of a brain aneurysm. She was a single mom who raised Haslyn and four other children.

“We had a one bedroom and there were five of us. She worked 10 hours a day and six days a week. It was tough. But she instilled life is what it is,” Klass said.

“Even though she worked those long hours, every time she came home I would run to her and the time she spent with me, I valued.

Haslyn at eight years old. Supplied: Haslyn Klass
Haslyn's Mom, Daphne. Supplied: Haslyn Klass
Haslyn's mom, Daphne. Supplied: Haslyn Klass

As a tribute to her, Klass, who runs his own modelling agency, has created a fashion showcase that bears her name. All funds go to the Women In Need Society. The models will all be wearing looks curated by the Women in Need thrift store.

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Klass model showing off curated look from WINS thrift store. Jill Croteau/Global News

WINS is a charity that supports women and aims to empower them out of poverty. Patti Brewin is with the organization and was so touched their non-profit resonated with Haslyn.

“We see these women come to us and they have nothing,” Brewin said.

“Haslyn’s story touches on that feeling, well it was bad back then, but getting to a place to say that was back then, now I got a future. That’s the vision we want for all our women.”

Tickets for Daphne’s Fashion Showcase are still available. The fashion show takes place Friday, May 10, at the Lakeview Signature Inn.

Daphne Fashion Showcase event poster. Jill Croteau