BI fashion show for international aid

It came right down to the wire but a $2,000 anonymous donation at the end of the event did it.

The Global Health Club at Bainbridge High School raised $10,000 at its “Celebration of Education” Fashion Show May 13 at Lynwood Theatre.

BHS seniors Gigi Hendrickson and Maddy Brown organized the event to raise money for the University of Global Health equity, a medical school in Rwanda that works with the larger medical organization, Partners in Health.

Emcee Chasity Malatesta invited Bainbridge Island’s poet laureate, Michelle Bombardier, onstage to share one of her works, “Rise Like a River.” In an interview, Bombardier explained how she sees poetry and fashion as tools to channel creativity. “We do so much to express ourselves,” she said. “It tells a story. And [in] poetry we tap into our experiences and all the experiences we carry before us.”

13 “outstanding students and teachers” walked the runway in outfits chosen from local boutiques Sweet Deal, Plum Boutique or Bay Hay & Feed. The event also included a raffle and free venue for local businesses.

Malatesta introduced the models as they sauntered toward the stage, followed by a detailed description of their clothing. The styles highlighted the “celebration” theme in a cheerful, spring color palette.

Behind the scenes, Hendrickson elaborated on how the BHS Global Health Club contributes to larger humanitarian efforts.

“We kind of have two roles,” she said. They function as a club, and, “We actually work for an international network called Partners in Health Engaged. [It] is a network of about seventy chapters around the world that educate, advocate and fundraise for the medical humanitarian organization Partners in Health.”

She went on to say the club has weekly discussions. “Our team gets together, and we talk about various topics related to global health like capitalism, colonialism, feminism… anything like that. We also do advocacy, which means meeting with Congress”— about eight times this year.

Hendrickson said their club has hosted other local events, including demonstrations, charity runs and even another fashion show last year at the BI Museum of Art.

Saiya McElderry, a BHS sophomore who will replace Hendrickson as team coordinator of Global Health Club, was pleased with the event. “Everyone has been so generous and kind about it,” she said. “Almost everything was donated pro-bono. It’s really, really nice to see people get behind this and give their services.”

Spencer Bispham is a communication major at the University of San Diego and is managing editor of its student newspaper.