Melissa Beight, the president of Fashion Club at Springside School, held a fashion show to benefit the Batonga Foundation. The fashion show was 70s inspired and included live performances from students at Springside and Chestnut Hill Academy. All of the models were students from both of these schools.
The Batonga Foundation supports secondary and higher education for girls in Africa. They provide girls with the tools they need to succeed in school and in life—that means everything from school supplies to mentoring and health education. They believe that if we give these girls a chance to excel they can take the lead in changing Africa. Girls with more schooling participate in greater numbers in the labor force and earn more for their families and society. Created by Angelique Kidjo, Grammy Award winning West African Singer, songwriter, and UNICEF Ambassador, Batonga works with existing NGOs at the country level who have experience in girls’ education. Individual girls are chosen to receive support so that priority goes to the most disadvantaged populations in the served countries.
Springside’s Fashion Club chose the Batonga Foundation to be the recipient of the night’s funds because they saw the need for girls to help other girls around the world. In order to increase their funds, they sold t-shirts for $15, along with the Maison Rose wrap bracelets and the Batonga bracelets. In addition, they sold tickets for $10 and collected donations at the door.
The event was held at Springside School on March 19th, 2011. With over 300 attendees, the show began at 7:30pm with a projection of Angelique Kidjo's new music video. Following a dance performance by a Springside alum and a song sang by two current Chestnut Hill Academy students, the fashion show began. It featured 70s inspired rompers, dresses, jeans, and jewelry. After a successful show, the event came to a close with two singers from Springside and the Chestnut Hill Academy Acapella group. In total, Rock the Runway raised almost $8,000. Most of the proceeds went to the Batonga Foundation and some went to the Cygnet Foundation for the Maison Rose bracelets. The girls from Springside hope to help the Batonga Foundation in the future and continue their partnership with the girls in Africa.