Sweaty, smelly and gross are all words that come to mine when you think of a high school gymnasium, but on June 1, 2017, students at my high school transformed their gym into paradise. The second annual Runway fundraiser, run by students, brought local shops, restaurants and community members together to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of Paterson-Passaic.
Founders of the club and event, Gillian and Alexa took their passion for fashion, philanthropy and business to school in a new and innovative way. Starting the fundraiser their junior year in high school, they had two opportunities to make the show great before retiring their titles to younger students, and they did not fail to surpass the expectations attendees had when they walked through the door. Often times fundraisers can become boring, and this idea was definitely taken into account while the young girls planned the event. Not only were the events continuous throughout the night, not leaving the crowd with the chance to get disinterested, but the show had aspects that appealed to everyone. Both men and women’s clothes were modeled, including outfits that interested people of all different styles. For people who were not so into fashion, but wanted to help a great cause, there were dozens of baskets being raffled off with contents from nail polish kits all the way to name brand bags and jewelry.
Unlike any other event the school had ever put on before, Runway showcased clothing, while involving students who modeled and purchased clothing for sale at pop-up shops at the event. Seeing trendy and different clothing was just some of the fun, but getting to see friends and classmates walk down the runway with makeup and hair as if they were in a high profile fashion show was something truly extraordinary. Every detail of the show was thought through, it flowed seamlessly, and was incredibly well put together. But, the most impressive part of all was how these students who are lucky enough to have so much in their, lives so generously devote their time to bettering the community around them, and people who are not quite as fortunate as they are.
While Gillian and Alexa did a phenomenal job running the show, their senior year is coming to a close and as they take on different endeavors, they will have to pass on their charity club into the hands of otherstudents. Nicolette, sophomore, member of the Runway committee, and avid trendsetter will take over the relatively new club, and put her own unique style on it in the 2017-2018 school year along with her co-chair Nicole. Nicolette described her two years of experience in Runway as “the best experience that I could’ve asked for!” She went on to say that she ”was so incredibly proud of the event we put on this year, and cannot wait to run it with Nicole next year!”
Though something different may be in store for next year’s Runway charity fashion show, it is a guarantee that the club is in good hands, and it will continue to improve with the help of students who involve themselves in giving back to the community in an innovative and creative way.