Fashion show to help promote disability awareness

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FALMOUTH — A different kind of fashion show featuring adaptive clothing and models with varying abilities is designed to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics Maine and the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center.

The Beautiful Me fashion show will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing on Mackworth Island. 

Before and after the show there will also be a resource fair with local organizations exhibiting and spreading awareness about resources to assist those with disabilities, according to Kayla Miner of the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center

“One in five people in the U.S. have a disability, so everyone can benefit from knowing the resources that are available,” Miner said.

The Adaptive Outdoor Education Center, which is in Carrabassett Valley, opened last summer and its goal is to provide fun and challenging outdoor activities, along with the necessary adaptive equipment, for people with all types of disabilities.

It also provides lodging as it seeks to instill a love of the outdoors and an appreciation for nature among its target audience.

The Adaptive Outdoor Education Center and Special Olympics Maine teamed up for the fashion show because they serve the same population and many of the models taking part have participated in events offered by both organizations, Miner said.

“All models in the show will be walking, rolling and strutting with various abilities and showcasing both local and adaptive fashions,” she said.

As part of the show, models will be wearing clothing representative of some of the programs offered at both the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center and Special Olympics Maine, including hiking, skiing, biking and more, Miner said.

“During other parts of the show, we will also be showcasing an array of fashions from local businesses,” she said.

The hope is for attendees “to be inspired and have fun, while supporting two wonderful nonprofits,” Miner said.

“This is an important event because it showcases individuality, awareness, acceptance and seeing the beauty in everyone,” she said.

“It’s also important because all of our models will be empowered and feel confident while strutting their stuff down the runway amongst a cheering audience,” Miner added.

At intermission there will also be a special musical performance by a woman who had a stroke and now suffers from aphasia, an impairment of the ability to understand words, either spoken or written.

“She will share her emotional journey through (playing) the piano,” Miner said.

In addition, she said, all proceeds raised from the Beautiful Me fashion show will go toward scholarships for programs offered by Special Olympics Maine and the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center.

Tickets are $25. Call 237-2676 or email infoAOEC@gmail.com for more information.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

Rob Arlint, left, and Sarah Rosenblatt are two of the models who will be featured in the Beautiful Me fashion show, which will raise money Oct. 28 for Special Olympics Maine and the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center.

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