The gala evening was created by students, for students and with students. The K is for Kids Foundation’s leadership teens organized a fashion show, with talks and presentation for teens and families, to raise money for its literacy efforts.
On Saturday, Feb. 9, the local nonprofit co-hosted the “From the Heart Teen” Fashion Festival with Health Management Associates and Barron Collier High School. The evening, at Barron Collier High School, included a silent auction and fashion show. Proceeds will benefit the K is for Kids’ Rising Readers program for Collier County students, with a percentage going toward Baron Collier High’s Helping Hands for Prom.
The fashion show was run almost entirely by student volunteers, such as Jessica Cederquist from Barron Collier High, Patrick Clawson Jr. from Gulf Coast High and Marina Moussa from Florida Gulf Coast University, and featured models who represented high schools from around Collier and Lee counties. College students lent a hand too, including the two founders, Ali Martin and Erin Clawson, as well as student interns and volunteers from Florida Gulf Coast University, University of Central Florida, Florida State University and Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Student organizers mixed talent acts with fashions, introducing a young models section, a sports segment and a lineup focusing on hair, makeup and accessories. Fashions from Brooks Brothers, Buckle, Cache’, Francesca’s, Gap, Gigi’s Children’s Boutique, Jennifer Landis Designs, Men’s Warehouse, Paul Mitchell The School, Simply Natural and BellaU were showcased.
Craig Bouchard, founder and chairman of the board of Shale-Inland, and an author, was the keynote speaker. Decree’ Macdonough, K is for Kids spokesperson and Miss Naples Teen USA, was the teen keynote speaker.
The K is for Kids mission is to “promote children’s literacy and leadership by partnering with community leaders and authors to engage children early and often about the excitement of reading and the power of words.” The students distribute books to kids in need, and use the organization’s programs to develop their own leadership skills.
K is for Kids is a nonprofit organization based in Naples that is primarily teen-volunteer based. The foundation is a grassroots movement that now benefits thousands of students at dozens of schools and organizations throughout Collier and south Lee counties.