On October 15th, my mom and I headed to Kent to attend the first meeting of Dress Up for Downs.
This idea was started by Sarah Petit. This is Sarah. She is a transfer student to the Fashion Design program at Kent from Ohio State where she was involved in a group that did fun things with people with Down syndrome. So she decided she wanted to start something similar at Kent.
So she recruited several students to help. This is Claire. She will be my designer.
I have some paperwork to fill out. Hmm...
My favorite thing about myself? I am kind
What I love to do? Quilt
What is my favorite song? Frozen
I think I am going to really like this. It feels like I am at college.
Next Claire designed the dress I would like. I told her I want it like Belle only pink. I want to walk down the runway to Frozen.
I think she did a good job.
Sarah came over to see our design. She likes it too.
One of our activities today is to decorate a star. It is going to be hanging as a decoration the night of the fashion show.
I made some kisses and wrote Mom, Dad, Sarah, Matt. That is my family. Some people are gluing rhinestones on them. Not me. I hate when my fingers are sticky.
Time to get my picture taken. The photo is going to be in the open square on the introduction sheet I filled out.
Now it is time for my measurements to be taken.
Claire is doing a good job.
She is talking with another design student to make sure she has everything she needs.
Just a few more measurements. My hips...
and my shoulder. That should be it.
Claire and I work really good together. I am glad she is my designer.
There is a lot of activity here today with all the models and designers. We are almost done.
Next we are going to go up to see Rockwell Auditorium. That's where the runway is. This is Tommy. He is a fourth year nursing student. They are helping today. When he graduates he is going to be working at Akron Children's Hospital. Hey that's where I take pillowcases sometimes.
Look at this. We found Matt. He wasn't with us today because he is being a referee at a soccer tournament in North Canton.
Today is November 5th, and we are back in Kent for a dress fitting. I am a little nervous.
Oh they just gave me my sheet back with my picture on it.
Here is Claire with my dress. I like it. I hope it fits.
Look who is here with me today, my dad and my brother. They are going to have to sit here and wait. I have to go...
...try on my dress. It fits perfect! Claire did a great job.
The length is just right. It is long but I can still walk good.
Claire wants to make just a few adjustments.
So she is taking a few more measurements.
Next is the rehearsal. Look who is going to walk me onto the stage. My Brother!!
Hmm...I wonder what I should do? I am going to be my own choreographer.
Now Claire and I go out on the runway.
Oh that's a good idea. A little wave to the crowd.
I wonder if anyone will come to this Fashion Show?
Sarah is sharing with the parents some additional information. She is very organized!
Time for a group photo. There are thirteen models. Smile!
Next up...we are learning a line dance.
This is so much fun.
I hope I remember it all.
It is time to go. But first my mom wanted to get a picture in front of this sign. She used to work with some of the people who helped get the fundraising going for this school. I think she would secretly like to be a student here.
A little dinner with Matt before we head home.
We are at his favorite drive-in. It is called Swensons. He loves it.
Today is November 19th and it is the BIG day...
My mom and I came early because I have to get dressed. I wonder where Claire is?
Here she is. She has my dress. And I have a surprise...
How do you like my fur cap? I don't like to wear jewelry so my mom thought I might like to wear this cap. Claire loves it!
Here is Sarah too. I really like this picture.
We decided to go check out the runway. They are just about ready to let the people in.
I am very nervous. I have a really great idea, but I can't tell you just yet.
Oh my gosh. Look at my brother. He is all dressed up. I am so proud of him.
It's time. A Dream Come True.
I had to submit five photos of what I like to do. Now I know why. They made a slide show.
It is up on the big screen for everyone to watch. I am so glad I included this picture. It is me and Noah when I visited him in the hospital in Salt Lake City. He used to live in an orphanage. Now he is with the Cox family. They are his forever family because they adopted him thru Reece's Rainbow.
Here we go...Sarah is saying a few words first.
Then she introduced all the handsome escorts.
I was waiting very patiently back stage. I was the last model to come out. They read a little about me and then the announcer said..."Take it away Sarah." And the music started to play.
That's when I came to life.
I used my cape just like Elsa did in the movie Frozen.
It was perfect.
Everything was going just as I planned.
At the exact right moment I ripped my cape off, gave it a circle and flung it at Matt. He was a little shocked and almost didn't catch it. And then I walked out onto the runway. First I waved to everybody just like Claire showed me...
It was perfect!!! The crowd was cheering for me. It was so special. It was my Dream Come True!!!
When I was done Matt escorted me off the stage. I could tell he was proud of me because he had a really big smile. That made me happy too.
Then it was time for Claire and I to go out and take a bow. THANK YOU Claire.
Time for our dance now. I could not believe how many people came. It was SOLD OUT.
At the very end they gave us a standing ovation. That was magical.
The escorts passed out flowers to all the models.
That was really nice. I had such a good time.
My dad and my Grandpa came to see me. They drove down together.
And my good friend Lisa came too. That was really a nice surprise.
And look it even snowed while we were in there. Just like in the real Frozen!! My mom and I had such a fun time getting home. She loves the snow.
Now here it is...my live dance...Just Click this Link...Sarah Ely Fashion Show
Thank you for watching!