The Creighton Ability Network, led by the School of Pharmacy and Health Profes- sions at Creighton, hosted its third annual Rise Up Runway fashion show on Saturday at the Scoular Ballroom.
Approximately 150 people were in attendance, with 30 participants/models from all abilities and age groups. Fifty-nine student volunteers from Creighton’s Pharmacy, Occupational therapy, Physical therapy, and undergraduate schools helped behind the scenes and ran the event.
Rise Up Runway participants got to dress up and walk down a runway, to show off all abilities, in the fashion show. Student volunteers accompanied the participants down the runway and posed for pictures.
The timeline of events began with hair and makeup at 11:30 a.m., where participants got to play games and color during the waiting period. Then the fashion show began at 1 p.m. Following the fashion show, a group of Special Musicians performed two group songs, one solo xylophone performance, and one solo singer.
According to the CU Involved, Rise Up Runway is a fashion show for people of all abilities with the intent to break stigmas.
Riley Fikes, a second-year occupational therapy student in the School of Pharma- cy and Health professions, co-led this event with Audrey Dwinnel, the president of Creighton’s Ability Network.
After volunteering last year for the social hour portion of the event, Fikes wanted to be a part of the magic.
“This year I had a more hands-on role and that made it even better,” said Fikes, “Advocacy is a huge part of what OTs do – this event is just that.”
College of Arts and Sciences senior Isabella Powers volunteered for this event after Dwinnell reached out to students.
“It was really fun to see how empowered and supported the participants were,” Powers said. “Seeing the smiling faces and joy on everyone’s faces was inspiring.”
Powers encourages more undergraduates to be a part of this awesome opportunity.
Heider College of Business senior James Nguyen volunteered to photograph this event after hearing about it from the Creighton’s Ability Network.
“Photographing each person walking down the red carpet ready to strike a pose or just having pure excitement on their face was a joy to capture,” said Nguyen.
CAN is an organization that is committed to empowering members to know to make a positive change for individuals with disabilities.
Fikes left some final remarks once the event concluded.
“I think this event is a great opportunity to bring up the use of language,” he said. “We often use the word disability. Why can’t we use the term varying abilities? The individuals that participated this weekend were all able to do a wide variety of tasks so why would we use a term that makes it seem like anyone is less able than their neighbor?”