School puts on special needs fashion show

Ajoyous Wyatt walks down the runway during the fashion show.

Move over Kylie Jenner and Gisele Bündchen. You have been replaced.

Students at Stoner-Thomas School, a school for special needs children, took over the catwalk and strutted their stuff during the school's A Night to Shine Fashion Show fundraiser Saturday at the Davidson County Parks and Recreation Gym.

Kailey Queen, a teacher at Stoner-Thomas School, said in the past the school had held a car show as its annual fundraiser. This year they wanted to find an event to allow the students to actively participate.

"We wanted to find a way to include our students as much as possible in our fundraising opportunity," Queen said. "This fashion show allows our students to the be star and this night as a night to shine."

During the fashion show, students modeled a variety of clothing, including casual and formal wear. Most of the clothing and shoes were donated by local and national businesses.

Karen Bowersox, the owner and founder of NBZ Apparel in Ohio, donated several pairs of her line of adaptive jeans to complement their body types without the barriers of buttons or zippers. She even came to Stoner-Thomas several months ago to fit students with the pants and attended the fashion show on Saturday.

Students were allowed to keep the clothing they modeled.

Several of the students said they were excited to be part of the fashion show.

"I like the dress and they did my hair," said Sierra Alcon. "I am happy to be here."

Angel Owens said she was excited to participate.

"I like it and I like to be in it; I am excited," said Angel

"I like my new pants and getting dressed up," said Brandon Zamora.

Sloan Denny, principal of Stoner-Thomas School, said she is pleased that the fashion show will not only raise money for the school, but included the students.

"As part of Davidson County Schools system we serve students with moderate disabilities, but tonight is not about that; tonight is about being differently abled," Denny said. "As you look around, you will see shining and twinkling lights representing the stars that our students are. Each and every student at Stoner Thomas is a star that is shining bright in its own unique way."

Besides the funds raised from ticket sales, the school also had a concession stand, a silent auction for a variety of gift baskets and a 50/50 raffle.

Dr. Emily Lipe, superintendent of Davidson County Schools, said she was impressed with the fashion show and with the support it had received.

"I am having such a good time," Lipe said. "This is such an amazing event. I think it is so great for the community and the students of Stoner-Thomas. I think the staff at the school has outdone themselves in planning and putting on such a phenomenal event."

Davidson County Schools Board of Education member Neal Motsinger said he was glad so many people came out to the fashion show to raise funds for Stoner-Thomas School.

"Community support is very important," Motsinger said. "Without community support we wouldn't be able to afford a lot of the things we fund. ... It is great to see so many people out supporting our schools."

Queen said that in the past, the school has used fundraising efforts to update the playground equipment. Now they are raising funds for other outdoor activities

"We are now raising funds to make our other outdoor areas just as amazing as our playground," Queen said. "We are hoping to raise enough funds to create more space for our students to be as physically active as possible. Our goal is to create a basketball court, purchase more adaptable bicycles, soccer goals and other outdoor activities."

Students who participated as models during the fashion show were Jeremiah Adams, Sierra Alcon, Nakayla Alexander, Oscar Arellano, NaHaven Banks, Ana Boggan, Jerzie Braley, Mackenzie Bryant, Charlotte Carroll, Colton Cleary, Leslie Clontz, Sydney Ferguson, Trey Glenn, Jada Greer, Seth Hardwick, Connor Harmon, Aaron Horsely, Kaitlyn Hunter, Cooper King, Ashely Lancaster, Hunter Litaker, Allen Logan, Kim Mahan, Faith Morgan, Colton Myers, Dereck Ortiz, Angel Owens, Lexie Richardson, Samual Rutkowsky, Anez Small, Damian Smith, Sophia Smith, Matthew St. Louis, Oliver Stringer, Landon Teague, Kayleigh Tester, Ruebyn Vicente, Dylan Williams, Hannah Wingler, Ajoyous Wyatt, Santiago Xolo and Brandon Zamora.

The Stoner-Thomas students were escorted by volunteers from various Davidson County high and middle schools.

The Dispatch, Lexington, N.C.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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