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Choose to Shine- more than just a fashion show

Choose to Shine- more than just a fashion show

Participants gather for the finale of the Choose to Shine Down Syndrome Fashion Show on April 15, 2018 (photo courtesy Sarah Feltes/WZND)

NORMAL- On Sunday April 15th, spectators and models gathered in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center for a fashion show. But this wasn’t any regular fashion show with models; this was the Choose to Shine Down Syndrome Fashion show. This fashion show showcases models and individuals who are living with Down Syndrome, and gives them a chance to “shine” on the runway.

The event is way to bring awareness to people living with the disorder.

The show is put on by the Illinois State University Down Syndrome Special Interest Group, and they raise funds for the Central Illinois Down Syndrome Organization (CIDSO).

Kim Adelman, a faculty member from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and chairperson for the event, said the event started three years ago after students approached her about wanting to bring awareness to the cause.

“This is our third year. About 3 years ago a group of students from the department came up to me and wanted to do something to bring awareness to Down Syndrome, and so we decided to do the fashion show.”

Since they began, they have raised over $5,000 for CIDSO. According to Adelman, they also have bake sales during the year to fundraise.

The models are from all over the area, and Adelman says that they reach out to CIDSO for participants. She also mentions that a lot of the models get speech therapy at ISU’s Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic.

“We have a speech clinic at ISU, and a lot of the models get speech therapy at our clinic, and we reach out to them that way,” added Adelman.

But most importantly it gives them an opportunity to be themselves, have fun, and live out their dreams.

“I think it allows them, the individuals with Down Syndrome to do something that they maybe dream about doing. They dream about being a model or an actress, and it gives them the ability to live out their dream,” Adelman added.

To  learn more about the Illinois State University Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic, visit http://csd.illinoisstate.edu/clinic/

Sarah Feltes contributed to this story. 

Sarah Feltes

April 17th, 2018

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