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Catwalking for charity

By Lisa Lucas
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday Feb. 6, 2002

UA Students work the funway Friday night for annual fashion show

Tucson's youth will turn heads Friday as they work the runway for the third annual "Escape Into Spring" fashion extravaganza.

Event director Drew Berns said approximately 25 University of Arizona students will model for the show, along with other local high school and elementary school students ranging in age from 5 to 25.

"This event is better than any other fashion show in Tucson because the 100 models are everyday, school-age, diverse students from our local community," Berns said in a press release.

He added that the show premiered three years ago as a charity event and has continued to support various charities each year since.

"Each year, I have directed original fashion productions to benefit children's charities," Berns said. "This year's event will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation."

While not all of the student models have worked for the event in previous years or have had previous modeling experience, most are commonly linked by the desire to have fun and while simultaneously supporting a children's charity.

History sophomore Keith Sherwin said he first heard of the event last week through ROTC. He added he was motivated to participate in the show after hearing that the proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation.

"I heard that (the show) was a charity event (and) that was the driving force," Sherwin said.

Courtney Cooper, a sophomore majoring in international studies, agreed that she was also inspired to participate because of the event's charitable endeavors.

"I think (this is) a great way to give back to the community," she said. "It will be really fun."

Lauren Bennett a sophomore majoring in communication and Spanish, added that the Make-A-Wish Foundation is one of her favorite philanthropies.

"I worked with the Make-A-Wish Foundation in high school," she said. "(It is) really special (and) great to give back."

Bennett said she is no stranger to participating in fashion shows and looks forward to the modeling aspects of her involvement in this event.

"I used to model for the Limited Too in junior high, and I put on our prom fashion show in high school," she said. "I love being on stage - it's a blast."

Bennett will model a formal dress by Jessica McClintock for the show.

Although Bennett has selected her attire from her own array of outfits, many other models are wearing clothes donated from local clothing stores.

Anthropology sophomore Sara Harris said she did most of the behind-the-scenes work in getting clothes donated for the show.

"I had to call department stores: Divas, Creations and Tuxedoes on Broadway (Blvd.)," Harris said. "(We) borrowed the clothes (in exchange for) free advertising."

Berns said the clothes used in the show epitomize past and present fashion spanning across various cultures.

"The clothing that we are presenting represents not only 'chic fashion,' but also has themes of culture and history," Berns stated in a press release.

Among these themes is a beachwear section. Several male members of the ROTC are participating in this portion of the event.

Sociology junior Peter Tran is one of those students. He said that because he will wear board shorts for the show, he hopes Friday night is not too cold.

Tran, like several other UA student models, said he is not nervous about walking down the runway.

"(I) just go out there and have fun with it," Tran said.

He added his words of caution to himself as he is modeling are:

"Man, don't fall."

"Escape Into Spring" shows Friday night at 7 in Social Sciences Room 100. Admission is free but donations are appreciated.


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