June 20th, Flushing Town Hall in Queens, New York, was the setting for making a fashion statement – one that combined awareness about HIV/AIDS, eating disorders, and the power of teens to make a positive difference in the world.
Members of the jazz trio, In Pure Thought, Shortstack’s second annual Charity Fashion Show saw its program’s models take to the runway in front of a packed house in order to raise funds for Windows of Opportunity’s HIV Empowerment & Leadership Program and “The Inner You” Program for Eating Disorders, a new addition to WOO’s raft of peer education and empowerment programs. Tracy Mignone, the mother of Shortstack’s founder and program director, Olivia Mignone, offered a touching dedication to her deceased friend, Olympia Feldman, and the foundation created in her name.
Hal Eisenberg, executive director of WOO, honored his aunt Barbara Harmon, the inspiration for the Unsung Hero Award, which was presented this year to football player Marty Lyons. Bands Saving Daylight and Outlet, and comedian Jonny Q, provided entertainment. Other walks included the creations of Kathlin Argiro and Fashions by J’tor, as well as fashions by local designers. A highlight of the evening was the Weapons of Choice Walk, where models struck poses behind screens, their silhouettes capturing the diverse personalities of the young women of Shortstack. During the HIV/AIDS Walk finale, introduced by actor Harrison Chad, each model each carried a sign that slowly added words and phrases to the message of the evening: “There are 14,000 new infections of HIV everyday…”
The organizers are gearing up for next year’s event and looking for sponsors.