The Ellison High School auditorium was packed with students whooping and whistling at a fashion show Wednesday afternoon.
The cause: charity.
The proceeds — and clothes — of the student fashion show will benefit Killeen nonprofit Option House Youth Shelter.
The event was the brainchild of student Samantha Bundy, who put the show together as her senior project required by her leadership academy course.
Bundy, influenced by her fashion design class, decided to pair her love of fashion with her desire to help the community by working with the local shelter. All of the clothing used in the show was donated by Ellison students, and each of the students involved volunteered their time.
More than 20 youth assist-
ed with the show, which included twice-daily practices for more than a month.
Sophomore Bayley Whitis was one of the hair and makeup artists assisting backstage, a task she hopes to do professionally after high school.
“I looked at fashion shows for ideas,” she said, “but we dulled it down and made it appropriate for high school students.”
Montana George, an Ellison freshman, served as a model in the show, posing in several different looks.
“We all helped put each (outfit) together,” she said, emphasizing the team effort involved behind the scenes.
Fashion design teacher Diane Cole served as Bundy’s mentor.
“The students surprised me with how they stepped up,” Cole said. “I’m impressed ... and really proud of all the kids.”
All of the clothing from the event, as well as the proceeds from ticket sales, will go directly to the youth shelter. Bundy estimates the show earned nearly $300 in ticket sales.
“Homelessness is a big issue at our school,” Cole said.
Option House Youth Shelter provides emergency services for youth ages 3 to 17, and shelter space to youth ages 12 to 17.
“We connect youth to basic services and resources,” said shelter Director Rose Amian. The 15-bed facility allows stays ranging from three days to three months.
The organization is grateful for the community support, and plans to spend the funds from the fashion show on entertainment activities for the kids in their space.
“I was hesitant at first,” said senior Jerica Hamilton about participating in the show. “But when I found out it was for charity, I wanted to be a part of it. I’m grateful that fortunate teens like us can give to those with less.”