Strutting Toward Success

Express to Success, a Revelle-based organization, was created last year to help students improve their interpersonal and public speaking skills. However, this group is doing more than giving students confidence and public poise.

This week, ETS will host its second annual charity fashion show competition, “”Remember the Time … ’80s Flashback,”” to help a San Diego-based charity known as Becky’s House.

Becky’s House provides shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. The YWCA, which coordinated the project, also offers supportive services such as psychological and educational counseling, child care and job training.

Crucial to the development of the program were its founders, DJs Jeff & Jer from STAR 100.7 FM. When a woman, fictitiously named Becky, called the Jeff & Jer morning radio show years ago, the idea for Becky’s House emerged.

After it became apparent that the caller was suffering from domestic abuse, STAR listeners donated over $40,000 to help “”Becky”” and her 4-year-old son.

What followed was a partnership between Jeff & Jer, STAR 100.7, the YWCA and City Councilwoman Barbara Warden that has made Becky’s House a reality. Jeff & Jer remain ardent supporters of the program, while Councilwoman Warden has led the way in procuring funding for building a 10-unit transition house. The San Diego YWCA is operating the program for the city.

Stage and lighting director Ping Huang emphasized how both ETS and Becky’s House benefit from the event.

“”Obviously I would like to see the fashion show generate a lot of support and publicity for Becky’s House,”” Huang said. “”But just as important is that our ETS students gain something from it as well. Modeling is not something all of us do every day, and it can be very difficult to do for the first time — especially when it is right in front of your peers and classmates. After the show, I hope that they all walk away with a new sense of confidence, poise and a sense of what they can accomplish.””

ETS member Diana Wong has already benefited from ETS.

“”I’ve gained more confidence as a result of ETS,”” Wong said. “”I’m less shy, and I can communicate better.””

Monica Zakowski returns as co-master of ceremonies this year.

“”I’m honored to be coming back,”” Zakowski said. “”This is all going for such a wonderful cause.””

According to ETS adviser La Verne Williams-Schoonover, talks about the fashion show began early fall quarter. ETS has striven to host a community service event each year. In response to the phenomenal success of last year’s fashion show, which raised over $4,000 for Becky’s House, ETS decided to host the event once again. This time, the goal is $5,000.

“”I think the caliber of the show has definitely increased this year. We have entertainment, a live band and it’s all for free,”” Williams-Schoonover said.

Unlike last year, however, ETS has received more help from organizations on and off campus, including S.O.L.O. organization Activation Energy Productions and the Girls League at La Jolla Country Day.

Founded by Revelle student Ben Parcher, AEP aids in the production of charity-oriented organizations. La Jolla Country Day is a national organization whose San Diego chapter was founded by Jessica Adler. The Girls League participates in community events and has already raised $1,500 for Becky’s House.

Williams-Schoonover would like to express her heartfelt appreciation to both organizations for their endless support.

In addition to the entertainment and fashion show, there will also be prizes raffled off at the event. AEP Finance Producer Diana Kim sees the incentives of buying a raffle ticket as two-fold.

“”I think primarily people should buy them for the prize,”” said Kim. “”But I think it’s also good knowing that when you buy one, every penny is going to Becky’s House, and it’s for a good cause.””

For everyone wondering why the ’80s was chosen as the theme, Williams-Schoonover offered the reason.

“”It was a fun time — a time to dare to be different,”” Williams-Schoonover said. “”I think ETS models that belief that it’s OK to be different. It’s OK to step outside of the box.””

Also participating in the event are Old Navy, Banana Republic, Guess, Sun Diego Surf and Sports, Forever 21, Georgeou/Giorgio Armani, Wilsons Leather and Giorgio Tuxedo.

Donations to be raffled will be provided by UCSD Parking and Transportation Services (eight “”A”” parking passes), Sony Corporate, Sam Goody, Sephora (UTC), Guess, Ben Bridges Jewelers (UTC), Wilsons Leather, MAC, Louis Vuitton, Duty Free (National City), Radio Shack, Starbucks (UTC), Warner Bros., Disney (UTC), Eddie Bauer, Pottery Barn (UTC), Kenneth Cole, AMC Theaters, book store certificates, Aveda, Georgeou (UTC), Sea World, Rocco (UTC), Gap Corporate, Sun Diego Surf and Sport, as well as several others.

Joe Lake, an ETS graduate and model for the show, sees the show as a great way for the program to end the year.

“”I see this show as the culmination of this program in bringing out the extrovert in all of us,”” Lake said. “”And I want to shake my little tooshie on the catwalk.””

Kris Schmidt, another member of ETS and model for the show, agrees.

“”It’ll be a blast,”” Schmidt said.

“”Remember the Time … ’80s Flashback”” the second annual charity fashion show competition and raffle for Becky’s House, presented by Express to Success, will take place at 6 p.m. on May 10 in Revelle’s Plaza Cafe.

Immediately following the raffle, Club 911 will host a free dance.

The charity raffle/fashion show will have no administrative costs and all proceeds will be donated to Becky’s House.

Raffle tickets are $5 each or three for $10.

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