Always in Fashion: MHS Club Sisters on the Runway Has a Purpose

Some of the trends from this year’s fashion show.

True to its name, Sisters on the Runway (SOR), a club at Montclair High School focused on educating and organizing events to benefit women and children affected by domestic violence, held its parade fashion show last June. However, the active club, with dynamic members, organized many events and meetings throughout the school year. Led by Co-Chairs Kelsey Balch and Hannah Bernstein, the club hosted bake sales, a football tournament, attended a vigil to honor those affected by domestic violence, held a workshop on recognizing the signs of unhealthy relationships, held a poster contest, and ended the year with the annual fashion show which raised money for Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates (SOFIA).

Focusing on the theme of education around domestic violence and intimate partner violence, the poster contest, held in April, aimed to spread facts and encouragement to the community. Dozens of Sisters on the Runway club members planned and designed the posters during lunchtime club meetings. Not only did the club get to know each other better through this interactive project, but they all learned a lot about important statistics on domestic violence. The posters were displayed throughout Montclair High School for months, raising awareness in the high school community.

The winning posters for 2022.

The top three posters were: 1) “Love is Respect” by Hannah Martin, Olivia Carr, Grace Carr, Cece Sherman and Francesca Caldarella 2) “Love Shouldn’t Hurt” by Clio Marcus, Amber Werner and Kelsey Balch, and 3) “Check Your Friends” by Natasha Halbfinger & Alexis Hamilton. All the posters created by club members were displayed during the fashion show as part of the parade.

The club’s 2022 fashion show was the first since 2019, due to pandemic interruptions. The SOR leadership is deeply grateful to have been able to organize it this year, especially because so many club members participated and dozens of community members came out to watch and support. All proceeds from the show will be donated to Montclair’s own SOFIA for operating and support expenses.

Some of this year’s fashion show trends

The organizers are also grateful to the many local businesses that loaned clothes for the fashion show: Barbara Eclectic, Nouvelle, One Savvy Consignment, Quincy Boutique, Dot Reeder and the MHS Thrift Club. Rooftop Productions donated the track, lighting, and audio production for the show, and Neil Ryan helped produce it.

No school club can even begin without a staff advisor to guide and support its cause. Sisters on the Runway is forever grateful to Detective Sanders of the Montclair Police Department and a School Resource Officer in high school, for her assistance. Additionally, the management shares its thanks for the club members and faculty members of the school who participated, supported and energized the club.

Club Fair 2021

Looking back on the year and their tenure as Co-Chairs of SOR, Kelsey Balch said, “Sisters on the Runway was one of the best parts of my time at Montclair High School and I am so grateful to experience. Being president this year and working more closely with SOFIA and club members has deepened my connection to the cause. I am so proud of our awareness and fundraising work. I can’t wait to see what the club will do in the future! Hannah Bernstein added: “This year, SOR has worked to raise awareness about domestic and dating violence across MHS and the greater Montclair community. I have loved being co-chairman and can’t wait to see what more the club will achieve in the future.

left to right: Natasha Halbfinger (Secretary), Lexi Ryan (Treasurer), Kelsey Balch (Co-Chair) & Hannah Bernstein (Co-Chair)

For more information on Sisters on the Runway and all the clubs at Montclair High School, check out these videos detailing some MHS clubs available, stay tuned to this webpage, and be sure to keep an eye out for the fair from the Montclair High School club to the falls.

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