Student Initiatives: Onyx Fashion Show

Jordan Royt

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The Charitable Fashion Show, run by a committee of BSS students, is an annual event tracing back to the mid 2000’s. The chosen charity for each year varies from local, national, to global organizations.  Key elements of the identity of the BSS community are the dedication to volunteerism, and philanthropy. At BSS, students are given multiple opportunities to give back to our communities, big and small, through fundraising events, physical volunteer actions, or simply by spreading awareness on various issues to friends, family, and community.  Although spoken about often at a girls high school, mental health education is not as prevalent amongst outside communities. This results in lack of knowledge on the concept within the general population. The chosen charity for the 2017 philanthropic fashion show  is The Maddie Project, a community effort that strives to provide support for youth struggling with depression and other mental health related concerns.  It is crucial that we take additional action to rightfully educating the population on mental health, as it affects many many. We have the resources and knowledge to inform others; however, this takes immense effort and time, time that busy BSS students may deem too valuable to put towards another task, in addition to many of our rigorous school schedules.

Many students connect to the issues this charity aims to solve, either through a personal or empathetic manner. However, repeatedly, there is a lack of action taken, regardless of the opportunities presented to us. The same can be said for the many other issues charities that the previous fashion shows had supported, including Free the Children in 2015, and Jacks Chapter in 2016. The role of the fashion show has been to bring additional public attention for issues plaguing much of today’s population, and to provide others with ways to get involved with the charity, including providing the organization with financial resources, which have been generously donated by people in our communities.

This year, the Onyx Fashion Show committee has dedicated their time to planning a show that supports, advocates, and aims to fund some elements for the support systems already in place for those struggling with mental health issues. The 2017 Onyx Fashion Show has partnered with The Maddie Project to recruit additional funding for the Skylark Walk-In Clinic. A mother whose daughter struggled with depression founded the organization in 2015. The Maddie Project has continuously paired and worked with the Skylark Walk-In Clinic, whose role is to provide emotional and medical support to those seeking help for their mental health illness.

The Fashion Show Committee felt The Maddie Project was a deserving source of additional funding due to the charity’s close connection to the Toronto Community, and for its lack of financial support from the Canadian Government. As teenage girls, one of the most prone demographic to mental health illnesses, how can we let our potential peers suffer with no support? Fundraising for youth mental health is absolutely crucial to the success and general happiness of communities all over North America, and we must take action in any way we can.

The students running Onyx are asking for your attention on the issue of youth mental health, and would like to thank those who attended  our event to show your support of The Maddie Project. Even though ONYX 2017 is over, feel free to spread awareness on both the show and mental health, and if you feel appropriate, please help fundraise the show. Any donation is greatly appreciated by both The Maddie Project and Skylark Walk-In Clinic. To donate, visit Chimp.com and search for the “Onyx Fashion Show.”

“On behalf of the Onyx Fashion Show Committee, we hope supporting those suffering with mental health concerns hold some importance to you, and you spread awareness on both this philanthropic event, and issue.”

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