Shannon Peterson, one of the show's organizers, found support in the Elite Networking Group when her son, Hudson, was diagnosed with Down syndrome. The group is a networking system that helps DSNNN generate more revenue through events and lead sharing.
“The Elite Networking Group is working so hard to bring awareness to the community,” Peterson said.
Peterson added how lucky they are to have a group that supports children and people with Down Syndrome. This event is one way that she will do her part to bring awareness to the community.
Participants at Saturday's event will be donning the current fashion trends for the everyone in the family from local designers such as LoDo Loft, Lil’ Diggs and Concepts By Fine N Funky.
There will also be a decadent cake auction with an option for made-to-order designs, a raffle and door prizes along with appetizers and drinks for the whole family. A DJ will be spinning music along with a live performance from the Notables, a 12-member band of adults with disabilities. All profits will benefit individuals with Down syndrome in the community.
Peterson approached Concepts By Fine N Funky to create exclusive outfits for both the male and female models to wear as they sashay down the runway.
“We wanted to help Shannon spread awareness in the community,” said Mollie Paganetti, assistant manager at Concepts By Fine N Funky.
Paganetti said that the outfits being provided for the event will not be found in any other
boutique in the area.
The models wearing the Fine N Funky brand will each have two different, high-end, quality outfits to wear as they traverse the runway for family and friends to admire.
The runway show will be comprised of 30 to 40 models with ages ranging from 12 months to adults in their 20s. All of the models have Down syndrome.
“The kids are loving it,” Peterson said.
Some of them are practicing all hours of the day in preparation for the runway, Peterson said, which brings forth a new talent that some of the children have been holding back from the world.
“They are more alike than different,” Peterson said. People with Down syndrome are loving and affectionate, she said, and the smiles on their face are a genuine showing of how they feel.
The Dressing Up for Down Syndrome is the first event of the year for DSNNN. The event, on Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m., is open to the public and will be in the Tahoe Room at the Grand Sierra Resort.
During Down syndrome month in October the DSNNN also holds the Buddy Walk to promote awareness and inclusion for people with Down syndrome and to raise funds for education, research and advocacy programs.
All the proceeds from both events, Dressing Up for Down Syndrome and the Buddy Walk, help fund family gatherings, new family support and community outreach.
Tickets for the runway show are $30 for adults and $15 for children.
To purchase tickets, call Grand Sierra Resort at 789-2285. Individuals with Down syndrome and their immediate families get in for free. Call Lisa at 827-0883 for free tickets, courtesy of the Elite Networking Group.
Individuals with Down syndrome are invited to model in the fashion show. For more information, call Peterson at 250-3042.