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Fashion with Passion

| January 1, 2018

Supersized – the participants’ senior portraits became life-sized banners.

Supersized – the participants’ senior portraits became life-sized banners.

High school seniors impact the Cy-Fair community  

Text by Melanie Saxton | Photos by Shawna Beck and Margaret Chapman

With 200 excited and generous audience members in attendance, the Deep Cypress Alli­ance rolled out its 7th Annual Fashion with Passion event on November 9, 2017. The stars of the show were representatives of the incoming senior class of 2018 who walked the runway at Enchanted Cypress Ballroom. As participants in the Cypress Challenge, their outreach through a peer-to-peer fundraising platform benefited the Jordan Merecka Caring Heart Assistance fund.

High school runway models included Wesley Bailiff, Danielle Bonner, Ashley Bruton, Hallie Bruton, Taylor Hoese, Rachel Jones, Ava Kuykendall, Rhyan McCaffety, Aidan Morrison, Madison Murray, Trent Nevins, Jackson Stadler and Claire Spring. The fashion show was the culmination of months of volunteerism and included an elegant dinner, a cocktail hour, a silent auction and a wine pull. To prepare for the event, an amazing group of parents volunteers created silent auction baskets, attended meetings and supported their high school seniors.

Participants strutted their stuff in an array of fashionable and glamorous attire thanks to Dillard’s Men’s Department, Men’s Wearhouse, Anything Bling Bou­tique, Muzzie’s, Splash of Sass, Damsels & Blokes Salon and Tinja Anderson Shirey – all of which donated clothing, products and services to make the fashion show a success.

 

Cypress Challenge Outreach Goals

JMCHA raises $50,000 and $65,000 each year from Passion for Fashion ticket sales and charitable donations. In turn, the organization offers financial assistance to Cypress neighbors who have experienced a personal tragedy or trauma, such as those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Many in the Cypress community, some without flood insurance, suffered severe home damage and heartache. Applications poured in and donations helped provide relief to those who found themselves struggling to put their lives back together. The nonprofit rushed to help by offering Lowe’s and Home Depot gift cards to local flood victims.

Concerned high school seniors assisted by clearing out drywall and debris. But the teens also participated in the Cypress Challenge and asked community friends and neighbors to contribute to the Jordan Merecka Caring Heart Fund. Each had a minimum fundraising goal of $500 and earned “points” for participation. Those who reached this level received life-size banners of their senior portraits, which were displayed the night of the Passion for Fashion show.

Madison Murray of Cy-Fair High School was this year’s winner and raised more than $2,000. “I love finding ways to give back to my community, so I was thankful for the opportunity to raise money for t
he Jordan Merecka Caring Heart Assistance program and those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Winning was just a bonus,” she says.

 

18 Days of Kindness

While they fundraised, the high school seniors also made “kindness a habit” by posting one act of kindness daily on social media. From August 9 through November 8, the hashtag #18DaysOfKindness trend­ed on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with examples of community spirit. Some Passion for Fashion teens volunteered for Camp Be An Angel, made decorations for National Charity League’s Fall Tea or assisted at the HEB School Supply drive. Others helped prepare for the hurricane, packaged food for the homeless, baked desserts for affected families, and helped grill and serve food for other hardworking volunteers at Second Baptist Church.

Both random and planned acts of kindness, such as walking a neighbor’s dog or babysitting, ignited sparks that spread good will throughout Cy-Fair. A bus driver surprised a crossing guard with a gift. “Thank you” cakes were baked. Soon the ripple effect inspired Cy-Fair residents to post their own messages and boost the spirits of others. Teachers received online thanks. A group received a shout out for visiting a second grade class.

“Participants from the senior class of 2018 brought many smiles to the community and raised awareness of the charitable programs of Deep Cypress Alliance,” says Director Teri Quance.

 

About the Jordan Merecka

The Jordan Merecka Caring Heart Assistance fund was formed to honor Jordan Merecka’s brave medical journey. Born with multiple congenital heart defects including dextrocardia, or a “reversed” heart, Jordan underwent two open chest surgeries, several surgical revisions and an implantable defibrillator. In 2011 he was in organ failure and in critical need of a heart transplant. His heart was removed and replaced by the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart during a history-making implant procedure at Texas Children’s Heart Center — the first pediatric hospital in the world to perform this particular surgery on a teenager. Jordan later underwent a successful 12-hour heart transplant surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital. He continues to be an inspiration to the Cypress community and enjoys the amazing gift of a new life.

The 2017 Jordan Merecka Caring Heart Award was presented to Melissa and Steven Batchelder with Laurel’s Army during the Fashion for Passion event. Allison Merecka, Jordan’s sister, served as the evening’s master of ceremonies.

Visit deepcypressalliance.com to learn more about the Deep Cypress Alliance, the Fashion for Passion show, 18 Days of Kindness, and JMCHA.

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High school seniors Trent Nevins and Ava Kuykendall raised funds throughout the summer.

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Madison Murray and Rachel Joanes strike a pose for the seventh annual Passion for Fashion.

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Claire Spring makes “kindness a habit” at the fashion show.

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Rachel Jones promoted the hastag #18DaysofKindness on social media.

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Aiden Morrison and Madison Murray strut for the Jordan a Caring Heart Assistance program.

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Taylor Hoese and Claire Spring on the catwalk at the Enchanted Cypress Ballroom.

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Trent Nevins brought awareness to the charitable programs of Deep Cypress Alliance.

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Danielle Bonner walked in front of a crowd of 200 generous and enthusiastic supporters.

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Jackson Stadler and Ashley Bruton modeled fashions from local boutiques and department stores.

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Madison Murray of Cy-Fair High School is the 2017 Cypress Challenge winner.

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Wesley Bailiff and Rachel Jones asked friends and neighbors to contribute to the cause.

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Taylor Hoese dazzled in red as a Passion for Fashion model and community volunteer.

 

Fashion with Passion


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