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Fashion show to benefit South Forsyth High student fighting cancer

SOUTH FORSYTH -- Forsyth County residents are invited to jump down the rabbit hole into South Forsyth High School DECA’s “DECA in Wonderland” prom fashion show Friday evening.

The annual event, which will be held Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. and again at 8:30 p.m. in the school’s performing arts center, is open to the public and will feature nearly 50 student models.

Nancy Ruff, South’s advanced fashion marketing teacher and DECA adviser, said the marketing and business club has held the event for at least 15 years.

Each year, South’s DECA students are challenged with learning how to produce a professional fashion show that earns money to help DECA members attend conferences and competitions throughout the year, Ruff said.

Event planning, she added, is an important part of marketing and students receive first-hand experience in planning and creating a large revenue-generating event.

The event also stresses inclusiveness.

“The kids really enjoy it,” Ruff said. “Every year, in addition [to the models], we make sure to have special needs students in the show. This gives them the opportunity to participate when maybe they are shut out of other school activities.”

In addition to raising money for DECA competitions and events, during intermission, attendees will have the opportunity to donate to Connor McMahon and his family.

McMahon, a 15-year old sophomore at South, was diagnosed with leukemia for the third time this past summer.

Though he is currently cancer-free, McMahon underwent an experimental treatment program at Duke University, which much of his insurance did not cover.

South’s DECA chapter has previously held fundraisers for McMahon and his family, and the chapter hopes to “bring awareness to the McMahon’s plight at this year’s prom fashion show.”

At Friday’s event, the audience can also vote, by donating dollar bills, on a king and queen of the show.

The runners-up will be crowned prince and princess and will also be selected through a monetary vote.

Fashion show attire will be provided by A Formal Affair in Roswell and Tuxedo WearHouse in Cumming. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the door.