Benefit raises money for special cause

March 9, 2017 — by Ashley Feng and Elaine Fan

With the bright spotlights shining down on them, model after model strutted down the runway as the audience cheered and cameras flashed. A total of 179 models walked the runway on March 4 — the most in Benefit Fashion Show’s history. What may have not been so obvious was the months of work that went into the 10 seconds of glamour each model experienced.

The show took place in the Large Gym, kicking off with a silent auction and fashion show later in the night in order to raise money for the Special Olympics Northern California.

The silent auction boasted a number of impressive items, including two tickets to a Warriors game that sold for $550, a dinner with English teacher Ken Nguyen which sold for $170 and multiple spa day coupons that sold for an average of $80.

The silent auction raised $3,010 while the ticket sales raised roughly $4,600, and all proceeds will be going to the Special Olympics Northern California Chapter.

Senior Head Benefit commissioner Hannah Leonard found the event was every bit the success she hoped it would be.

“Even though there were some problems leading up to the show, everything came together really nicely,” she said. “I thought that it was really successful because the show ran smoothly and the models had a great time.”

The show sold around 230 tickets — so many that extra seats had to be set up right before the show.

The early stages of planning started in October, when the senior Benefit commissioners, including Jackie Han, Spring Ma, Leonard, Yuna Kim and Ellicia Chiu, met for the first time. From there, they started the long process of finding clothing sponsors and organizing the show.

The commissioners handed out flyers in-person to stores such as Title Nine, Macy’s and REI with an explanation about the show and contact information for each of the commissioners. Many stores that responded were glad to sponsor the show, but there were some problems during the scouting.

“Communication was probably the biggest issue,” Han said. “For example, for GAP there were two managers instead of one, and one was fine with [sponsoring] while the other wasn’t. There were also many stores that didn’t reply at all.”

The day after the show, all the clothing was returned to their respective stores. The task was long and tedious, but according to Leonard, it was facilitated by the kind and helpful staff at many of the stores they visited.

During fittings and rehearsals, the commissioners ran into a few obstacles as well. Some stores didn’t send the correct clothing items, or the models’ pieces got mixed up.

An hour before the show, the commissioners found out that six outfits did not make it onto the rack that was transported to the school. Leonard’s mother, along with several other theme heads, rushed to the stores to find replacement outfits.

“Although there were a few roadblocks, the fittings and rehearsals overall went pretty well,” Han said.

The show presented a total of 11 themes: Prom, Boho, Girls’ Night Out, Bollywood, Country Club, Bromance, Rock N’ Roll, First Date, Activewear, Outdoors and Festival. Each theme had a varying number of models.

“Modeling was really nerve racking at first, but once [my partner] and I walked it, it was really fun,” said sophomore Tal Kibel, who donned rock n’ roll clothes. “A lot of my friends were watching so it was encouraging hearing people cheering when we walked out.”

Each model had to attend one fitting at the store that sponsored their theme, where the theme heads and store manager helped them choose an outfit for the show. Then, they practiced their runway walk and poses in the rehearsal on the Friday and Saturday afternoons before the show.

“I feel super proud of what we accomplished but also super relieved that it’s over because it was honestly really stressful,” Han said. “I am also feel really thankful that I had awesome commissioners to do it with.”