High school students hold annual fashion fundraiser despite pandemic

From the runway to the Landing: Raising money for Dragonfly Foundation

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A group of Sycamore High School students got the chance Thursday to be fashion models and help a good cause.

Usually Fashion For the Cure (FFTC) is a fundraiser hosted by Sycamore. Students, teachers, and Dragonfly Foundation patients and families walk the runway in clothing designed by the high school students.

This year students designed and made their own outfits like usual but due to the pandemic, they had a photoshoot at Dragonfly Foundation’s headquarters called the Landing instead of a fashion show.

What’s that like to be a model for a day?

“It’s been a really fun experience!” FFTC committee co-chair and Sycamore High School Senior Grace Zhang said. “I would say just having so many people here and having some sort of closure this year is really nice.”

Zhang and Gaby Pereda are the committee chairs for the fundraiser. This year they raised $20,000 for Dragonfly Foundation which helps pediatric cancer patients and their families. That brings the total for these high school seniors to $150,000 in four years through FFTC.

“We said ‘yes, we can’t do fundraising right now but what we can do is find a way to connect with the patients better,’” Pereda remembered. “And that’s something we did really well at the start and I think that drew us to want to find a way to raise money despite the pandemic.”

Zhang says helping Dragonfly just makes sense.

“With cancer a lot of us have gone through hardships, and a lot of us know people who have been impacted by cancer,” Zhang continues, “And to have somebody that Dragonfly is really there to support them in terms of the community and provide a place where they can feel like kids is really inspiring to me.”

Each of the photographers donated their time and talents to the high school students.

It’s obvious from the smiles both in front of and behind the cameras that everyone is having fun. And hopefully next year the students, teachers, and Dragonfly kids and families can strut their stuff on the runway once again.

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