Students hit the runway for the kids
Published: Sunday, January 27, 2013
Updated: Sunday, January 27, 2013 23:01
The Annual ‘For the Kids’ Miracle Walk Fashion Show, a fundraising event that took place on Saturday Jan. 26 in the Student Union, was an event overflowing with positive energy and goodwill.
The event was held as a fundraising effort towards the fast approaching annual HuskyTHON dance competition. Since its inception in 2001, HuskyTHON has quickly gained traction both in the UConn community and throughout Connecticut, and is now the largest student run philanthropy in the state. The proceeds of the HuskyTHON and the fundraisers associated with it, such as the Miracle Walk Fashion Show, all go towards the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. The Miracle Walk Fashion Show that took place this weekend is the program’s largest internal fundraiser towards the HuskyTHON.
The Miracle Walk featured different on-campus groups who each sent models down a runway erected in the Student Union Ballroom. The models sported different brands such as Victoria Secret’s Love Pink line, Rent the Runway, and Ciao Bella, as well as different themes such as Rave and Husky Pride. The A Minor a cappella group gave a stellar performance during the event, but the most poignant section of the program were the testimonies of patients from the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. These patients, such as 16 year old Nicki Cartier, 6 year old Olivia Belfonti, and UConn senior Katelyn Scott, all have spent a large portion of their lives in the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center receiving treatment for their different illnesses and medical conditions. Cartier, who was diagnosed with a polyp in her small intestines, has spent close to 225 days in the hospital and has received 40 surgeries since 2002. Belfonti was born with only half of a heart and has undergone intensive care at the hospital since her birth. Scott was diagnosed with leukemia when she was a senior in high school and lived at the hospital as she underwent chemotherapy and treatment. Each of them spoke at the Miracle Walk of their time at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. They praised the fundraising efforts for providing so much aid which goes towards making the hospital a more comfortable and friendly place to live.
Amy Cartier, Nicki’s mother, commented “the funding from HuskyTHON really makes it possible for families to have a home away from home.” Amy and Trisha Belfonti, mother of Olivia, both said how impressed they are that fundraising efforts such as the Miracle Walk and HuskyTHON are entirely student run, and that they are able to raise so much to support the Medical Center. “Each time we find out how much money has been raised every year we cry,” said Trisha Belfonti.
Those who organize and participate in the Miracle Walk take these patient testimonies as motivation to continue their unrelenting efforts to give their support. Kelly Huber, a 4th semester Communications Disorders and Psychology major, was a model at the fashion show today. She joined the event because she was “so touched and humbled by what HuskyTHON could bring to these children.” The HuskyTHON will be held from Feb. 16 to Feb. 17 at the Hugh S. Greer Fieldhouse on campus.