by Kayla Tucker
The William C. Abney auditorium is hosting a fashion show where models are draped in the latest fall fashions. Audience members not only get to attend a live runway show, but they are also participating in a health education opportunity, styled in the season’s most enviable clothing.
“It’s a way for us to inadvertently educate people on this cause through fashion”
Veverly Austin founded the organization Girl Get Your Fight Back and created the annual Rock’n the Runway fashion show to raise breast cancer awareness. “It is an empowerment organization designed for the betterment of women, mind, body and soul,” Austin said, who described the event as “fashion with a cause.”
Twenty-eight models, 10 of which are breast cancer survivors, receive free makeovers and photoshoots before the event. While these survivors walk the runway, a video of them telling their story plays behind them, so the audience gets a feel of who that woman is and the personal story behind her fight.
“Our show is broken up into segments, so we take you along the journey of when a woman goes to the doctor, and then when she finds out she has breast cancer, and then the fight,” Austin said. “We do a small memorial for some who have lost the fight, and then we end the show with the survivors, those who are still alive fighting.”
Austin explained Rock’n the Runway’s biggest goal is to bring honor to the survivors and make them feel amazing, even if it’s for just one evening. Oncologists from Mercy Health and Spectrum Health are also at the event to give their perspective on treating patients with breast cancer. This year’s theme is “No more fear.”
The fashion show concludes with the chance for guests enjoy time socializing and discussing afterthoughts of the show. Food and non-alcoholic beverages are included with admission along with opportunities to learn more about the organization. “The show not only educates the public about breast cancer,” Austin said. “But also educates them on the medical resources available in West Michigan, even for those who don’t have health insurance.”
Tickets are available for $20 in advance and $25 at the door. VIP tickets, admitting exclusive seating and early access to food and beverages, are also available for $40 in advance and $45 at the door. All guests receive a swag bag at the end of the event.
This year’s Rock’n the Runway fashion show invites everyone to celebrate the community’s breast cancer survivors and encourage women to put their health as a top priority by pursuing regular mammogram appointments and seeking further education. Guests are encouraged to sport their style in “little black dress” attire. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit RocktheRunwayGR.com.
What: Rock’n the Runway
Where: William C. Abney Auditorium, 3075 30th SW, Grandville
When: October 15, 6 p.m. (Pink Carpet), 7 p.m. (show starts)
Tickets: $20-$25 general admission. $40-$45 VIP. Tickets at RocktheRunwayGR.com.
Attire: Little black dress/cocktail attire
Kayla Tucker is a journalism student at Grand Rapids Community College and editor-in-chief of The Collegiate newspaper and website.