Sisters on the Runway returns with new fundraising ideas

By Vincenza Parella

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The philanthropic club, Sisters on the Runway (SotR), has returned this semester for its third year of giving back to the community.

After having won the “Sammy” for “Outstanding New RSO of the Year” in 2010, the group is excited about the opportunity to be nominated for the “Outstanding RSO of the Year” award again in 2011.

With new Co-Presidents Kelsey Stokes and Christine Cummings, 11 new executive board members and over 20 committee members, the girls are ready to take on a new year with stride.

The group’s main goal is to raise money and awareness for domestic violence prevention by creating a fashion show to unite the school and local community. Last year, the SotR participated in numerous fundraisers for its charity, Safe Passage, which is a domestic violence shelter in Northampton.

The girls participated in last year’s Hot Chocolate Run to benefit Safe Passage by raising money from sponsors to participate in the 5K run and a two-mile walk through Northampton. SotR were also donated to Safe Passage’s Wish List Drive, which was created to benefit local women and children in need by fulfilling their wish list for the holidays.

“It’s a really great way to, instead of giving them monetary donations, give them what they really need and want at that time,” Stokes aid.

The SotR will be working to raise money towards everyday transportation for local women and children this year. The co-presidents hope to demonstrate to new members where all of the group’s hard work and fundraising is going.

The girls also did numerous bake sales throughout school year and had candy grams for Valentine’s Day as well, which they distributed to dorms all over campus. The money from these fundraisers help support the runway show and Safe Passage.

The Sisters on the Runway’s biggest fundraiser is its annual fashion show that it hosts every spring. Last year they sold-out, filling 300 seats and raising a total of $3,000 dollars to benefit Safe Passage in Northampton.

Preparing for this annual event requires the marketing team to find sponsors, supply snacks and mocktails, hire caterers, photographers and models. Models from any of the five colleges can audition to be in the show, but the date of the audition is to be determined; however auditions are generally held sometime in November.

SotR work to make it easy to submit ideas for any of their shows by reaching them on social media platforms.

“Spreading awareness through social media; that’s a big thing for our generation … that’s the biggest way anyone can help; to find stories or pin fashion that you’d like to see in the show,” Stokes said. “We don’t want to be just the club that just does the fashion show; we want to be the club that promotes awareness about domestic violence.”

“I feel it is the fashion that attracts people to the group, but we want it to be the cause,” Cummings said.

Vincenza Parella can be reached at [email protected]