Big Idea: Senior Organizes Fashion Show to Help Haiti

Katie RileyKatie Riley’s big idea has translated into big help for a destitute community.

Back in high school, Riley got involved with her school’s Haiti Club and traveled there twice. When she came to UT, Riley—now a senior in Global Studies—was already involved with the Haiti Outreach Program in Knoxville, but wanted to do something more to get the campus community involved.

In October 2009, she organized “Fierce and Fancy,” an event where people donated old formal dresses for a fashion show and silent auction to raise money for a Haitian community.

The Haiti Outreach Program and the UT Haiti Club will host the third annual Fierce and Fancy Formals fashion show and dress sale at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Tickets are on sale at fierceandfancy.eventbrite.com. Advance purchase tickets are $8 for students and $10 for the public. Tickets will be $12 at the door.

All proceeds go to help the village of Boucan Carre, where the majority of the people have limited or no access to things like clean water, basic health care, hot meals, electricity, and even shoes.

The event raised $10,000 each of the first two years. Riley hopes the effort raises $15,000 this year.

“Basically, the people there are in great need, and as someone who has grown up decently privileged, I want to do whatever I can to help out.”

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