The fashion show was held on Feb. 7, with proceeds benefiting the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation.
Seneca High School students took the stage to model the latest formal styles at the 13th annual fashion show held on Feb. 7.
The show is put on through the high school’s DECA club that prepares students as emerging leaders, helping them to create a foundation for future careers.
DECA adviser Grace McCloskey is also a sales and marketing teacher at the high school, who gets her students involved in the show as a way to introduce valuable skills and allows them to apply them to real world situations.
McCloskey said through this process that began in September, her students learned about marketing and promotions, wrote professional letters and emails, learned and executed the process of selling, talked to local businesses, and worked with an established organization.
Tuxedos and gowns for this event were provided by Formal Expressions and Rena Elle Couture, respectively.
The proceeds totalled $802, which will be donated to the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation, an organization based in Voorhees that benefits hospitalized teens.
McCloskey said the school began donating to this organization about 10 years ago, however, this marks the first year the foundation was present at the event, running the basket auction, which gave the students the ability to work directly with the charity.
McCloskey expressed excitement for the students who were able to see their hard work pay off on the night of the event.
“This is an event that gives our students opportunities to engage with and learn from leaders in the business world. Then they get to bring this knowledge back and apply it to our projects. It’s a valuable learning opportunity for our students,” McCloskey said. “There’s nothing better than going out and doing what you’re learning. For a lot of them, that’s when they really get it.”
Seniors Madison Willits and Michelle Bennett modeled their own handmade clothing at the fashion show, providing them an opportunity to showcase their original designs.
Willits’ interest for fashion began during her introduction to sewing class her freshman year, followed by fashion 1 and fashion 2 courses she took in the years following, all taught by Suzanne Arfuso.
“[I’ve learned] how to imagine things, how things are going to connect. I used to have to ask Mrs. Arfuso what to do next, but now I try to envision it and put the puzzle together,” Willits said. “You can do anything you want to do. I never knew I was going to love sewing, it was only a small course during the whole year but I ended up really liking it and it’s a hobby I enjoy doing today.”
Bennett was taught how to sew at age 10 by her mother, and has spent time perfecting her craft since. Bennett said she has learned patience and problem-solving skills through her experience with fashion.
Both students have entered and won medals in contests through the national organization Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and plan to pursue fashion as a hobby in the future.
Not only does this annual event benefit DECA members, but students interested in fashion and design, and sales and marketing as well, while opening the doors to helping local organizations.
“Besides the learning of the students, because that’s the main focus, I’m hoping that they also get some passion for working with charitable organizations and doing something for the community,” McCloskey said.