Fashion to be showcased today, with purpose

Christine Barbieri

Bartley is home to disciplines like finance, economics, accounting … and modeling? People who walked through the Bartley Atrium on March 29 and 30 saw the usual throng of kids studying in the plush chairs or hurrying to class, and they also saw racks of the Michael by Michael Kors summer collection and two trendily dressed young women taking headshots of Villanova students.

Today, a fashion show featuring the Michael Kors clothing line will be the first fundraiser event for a new group on campus. Sophomores Alexandra Idol and Chelsie Caruso started their own chapter of the charity Kids With A Purpose this past fall, and this is the inaugural event.

“I think that part of the goal of college is to find something that you are passionate about,” said Idol, who originally became involved with the charity in her hometown of Manhasset on Long Island. “For me, this was the next step.”

Kids With A Purpose raises money for children’s welfare. With this in mind, the members of each chapter group choose the specific charity they want to support.

“We are always looking for new members,” said Caruso, who discovered she was passionate about helping kids while she attended Montgomery High School in New Jersey. “Anyone can start a charity, but we always try to have a fresh take on things.”

The fledgling group raised over $1,000 last semester, establishing themselves as a veritable force on campus with this early success. The money was used to buy gifts for underprivileged children during the holiday season.

Caruso and Idol have set a goal to raise $3,000 at the fashion show to benefit the Philadelphia chapter of an organization called Stand Up For Kids.

The organization is comprised of six different rehabilitation programs with the common goal of getting homeless children off of the streets.

“Our focus goes beyond street outreach and extends to deterrence and resource programs that we provide in schools and via the Internet,” says the organization’s Web site, “But all facets of our mission are guided by the mandate that our volunteers shall tell kids they care about them and then, at every point, prove it.”

As the new group gears up for what it intends to become an annual fashion show, it plans to focus on goal-setting and striving for the highest achievements possible.