True to their name, Sisters on the Runway (SOR), an education-focused Montclair High School club that organizes events to benefit women and children affected by domestic violence, hosted their annual fashion show this past June. However, the active club, with its active membership, held several events and meetings throughout the school year. Under the leadership of co-presidents Kelsey Balch and Hannah Bernstein, the club held a bake sale, a soccer tournament, an event honoring victims of domestic violence, a workshop on recognizing the signs of an unhealthy relationship, and a poster contest. The year ended with the annual fashion show that raised funds for Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates (SOFIA).
Emphasizing the theme of education around domestic violence and intimate partner violence, the poster contest held in April was about facts and community empowerment. Dozens of sisters at Runway Club members plan and paint posters at lunchtime club meetings. Not only did the club get to know each other better with this interactive project, but they all learned a lot about important domestic violence statistics. The posters were displayed at Montclair High School for months, spreading awareness to the high school community.
The top three posters: 1) “Love is Respect” by Hannah Martin, Olivia Carr, Grace Carr, Cece Sherman and Francesca Caldarella 3) “Look at Your Friends” by Natasha Halffinger and Alexis Hamilton All posters created by club members were displayed at the fashion show as a runway show.
The club’s 2022 fashion show is the first since 2019, which was canceled due to the pandemic. The leadership of SOR is very grateful that so many members of the club were able to organize this year and that so many members of the community came to watch and support. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Montclair’s own SOFIA for operating and support costs.
Organizers would like to thank the many local businesses that lent clothing to the fashion show: Barbara Eclectics, Nouvelle, A Savvy Consignment, Quincy Boutique, Dot Reader and MHS Thrift Club. Rooftop Productions donated the runway, lighting and sound production for the show and Neil Ryan helped produce it.
No school club can start and support their cause without an advisor. The Runway Sisters are eternally grateful to Montclair Police Department Detective Sanders and the high school’s school resource officer for her help. In addition, the management is grateful to the club members and school teachers who have shown, supported and demonstrated the club.
Of the year and her time as SOR co-president, Kelsey Balch said, “Sisters on the Runway was one of the best classes I’ve had at Montclair High School and I’m so grateful for the experience. Being president this year and working closely with Sophia and the club members has strengthened my connection to the cause. I am very proud of our work in spreading awareness and raising funds. I look forward to seeing what the club does in the future!” Hannah Bernstein added, “This year, SOR worked to raise awareness of domestic and dating violence throughout MHS and the greater Montclair community. I loved being co-president and can’t wait to see what the club does in the future.
To learn more about Sisters on the Run and the clubs at Montclair High School, watch these videos, check out some of the MHS clubs available, follow this website, and be sure to attend the Montclair High School Club Fair. What is the date?