‘Mission Impromable’ fashion show, giveaway helps local juniors, seniors

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Gannon University’s Organization of Women Leaders (OWL), GUSPAS and Gamma Sigma sorority hosted “Mission Impromable” to fundraise for OWL and give away prom dresses to Erie high school girls Friday in the Yehl Ballroom.

A fashion show modeling formal dresses donated from Gannon students was held Friday featuring women on campus as models, and the dresses were given away as part of OWL’s philanthropy events Saturday and Sunday.

OWL collected close to 200 short and long prom dresses to give away to high school students and raised about $200. Girls attending were able to choose from the selection, try on their favorite dresses, and take one home for free.

Kaitlyn Falk, a junior nutrition and human performance major and the president of OWL, said the editorial board came up with the fashion show idea last year.

“This is something that’s been planted in our hearts since April of last year,” Falk said.

The event was the first time OWL had organized something like this and the first time Falk oversaw something like a fashion show, she said.

“It’s pretty new, so we’re making a lot of mistakes but we’re making a lot of good things too,” Falk said.

Falk said the OWL editorial board divided itself into specific committees to organize the event. The organization reached out to four area high schools — Collegiate, Central Tech, Strong Vincent and East High School — to invite students to the prom dress giveaway.

In the future, Falk said she would like to include more schools in the Erie area outside of the city school district like McDowell High School.

Falk is a nutrition intern at East High School, and works with Strong Vincent students at Club Fit, so she asked some of the students there to model.

“The fashion show is largely Gannon people, but what’s geared toward the high schoolers is the giveaway,” Falk said.

OWL also asked various organizations and sororities on campus to get involved with the fashion show and dress giveaway, but Falk said she was shocked and disappointed that more sororities couldn’t help out.

“It’s this big girl power event,” Falk said. “As women leaders on campus, I thought that they would be interested in it, but they weren’t.”

Falk said delegation was her biggest challenge in organizing Mission Impromable.

“As the president, I feel like the success of this event is on my shoulders,” Falk said. “It’s hard because realistically I can’t do every single thing. I have to delegate out to certain people.

“Part of the thing about being a leader in general that I’m learning through OWL is that delegation is hugely important.

“I really hope to make it a family-friendly event because it’s never too early to start empowering a girl. I would love to see young people in the audience and to come to this kind of fashion show.

“I hope that this will benefit them because they will see girls of all different shapes, sizes, colors and they’re all beautiful.”

Falk said the models were announced by listing their involvement and accomplishments at Gannon, rather than talking about their appearance.

Holly Dill, a junior biology and freshwater marine biology major, said she donated six of her old dresses to the giveaway to support her sorority and the event.

“I think it’s a quality idea that makes classy, formal dresses affordable for Erie city youth,” Dill said.

KELSEY GHERING
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