Model students plan LDSA fashion fundraiser

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Fanshawe students are helping shine light on those with Down syndrome, through a fashion show.

The London Down Syndrome Association (LDSA) Easter Runway is a fashion fundraising event happening on April 13, in B Atrium in conjunction with the Lawrence Kinlin School of Business.

All proceeds donated will go directly to the LDSA.

This event is planned and hosted by five Fanshawe business administration students, as a component of their coursework. They have worked on this event for four months and according to Priyanka Priyanka, a graduating student in the business administration — marketing program and one of the organizers, said they “are excited to see everyone show up”.

In the initial stages of planning, Priyanka said her team wanted to incorporate an educational and social aspect to their event so they picked LDSA as their chosen charity. In their event, they hope to “to educate the public about Down syndrome because a lot of people see it as a disease when really it is just a difference of one chromosome”, Priyanka said.

One highlight of the event are the models who will be walking the runway. Instead of casting working or student models, Priyanka and her team decided to have willing participants living with Down syndrome walk down the runway. So far, they have recruited people from aged six to 31.

There, the models will be able to confidently walk in their own favourite outfits in front of a crowd of friends, families, students, community members, as well as professors.

Prior to the event, Priyanka said and her team went to visit some of the participants of the fashion show and were pleased to find out how excited they were to “strut their stuff”.

“I'm so excited to see participants walking down the runway and the audience's reactions,” Priyanka said.

The event will include keynote speeches from LDSA and CIBC as the educational portion of their fundraiser, and will also include games and free refreshments.

Kevin Masterson, the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) events & activities manager, who assisted in distributing with promotional materials for the event, had positives to share about the day.

“LDSA Easter Runway is a feelgood event that is a true partnership that bridges the distance between students and the London community,” Masterson said. “I hope we get a lot of people out to it.”

Priyanka said her and the rest of her team are “nervous about the success of the event”, but are excited to see everybody come out to the fundraiser to raise awareness and educate the public about Down syndrome.

LDSA Easter Runway tickets are available for purchase at the Biz Booth and the downtown campus at $5 for students/children and $10 for adults.

The event starts at 4 p.m. on April 13 at B Atrium.

This story was updated to correct Kevin Masterson's role with the event.