On Thursday, Nov. 10, Eastchester High School seniors got the chance to don their finest threads and hit the runway as part of the 27th annual Senior Fashion Show at the Surf Club on the Sound in New Rochelle.
With more than 500 guests in attendance and 175 seniors participating in the fashion show, the evening was not only a testament to the Eastchester community, it was also a wildly successful fundraiser for the EHS PTA, explained event chair Renee DiBenedetto. DiBenedetto, who organized the fundraiser along with co-chairs Michelle Pisa and Kathryn Quigley, said that the support from community members was overwhelming.
“The event sold out in record time,” said DiBenedetto. “The RSVP date was Oct. 20, but we were sold out by Oct. 1, so between the school community and other members of the town, there was 100 percent commitment.”
In addition to ticket sales, the PTA also raised money through its popular gift basket raffle, which sees curated collections of goods and services—donated by community members and local businesses—given out as prizes.
“Some businesses made cash donations and others donated services; so for example, The Pizza Shop donated $300 towards a catered dinner, hairdressing places offered hair cutting services and so on,” said DiBenedetto. “We put these goods and services together in themed baskets and we ended up with 187 different gift baskets in total.”
The fundraiser is the only one put on by the EHS PTA during the year and typically generates around $25-30k. But beyond the money, DiBenedetto said that it was rewarding to see the event—which she has been planning for the past 10 months—serve as a celebration of both the town and its commitment to high school students.“Our first meeting was during the first week of February, so it’s something we’ve been working on for a long time,” said DiBenedetto. “It makes it so satisfying to see the turnout and the support we had; I’m so proud to live in a community that sees the importance of supporting our children.”