Annual La Roche fashion show takes visitors around the GLOBE

| Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

La Roche College students are making it easy for local residents to “travel” and learn about the world without leaving the North Hills.

A student organization at the college, GLOBE — which stands for Globalization of La Roche: One Beat on Earth — has been hosting an annual fashion show for more than 10 years. This year's event will be April 18 at the Kerr Fitness and Sports Center at the campus at 9000 Babcock Blvd. in McCandless.

The popular event on campus is much more than a fashion show, however. “The event really showcases the multicultural backgrounds of our students – not just through clothing but through music, food and entertainment as well,” said Shelby Weber, 22, president of GLOBE.

Weber first got involved with the fashion show as a model her freshman year; since then, her passion for the purpose of the event has grown. So has the size and scope of the event.

The event starts with a preshow of cultural vendors from 5 to 8 p.m. The fashion show, which celebrates cultural attire and performances from all over the world starts at 8 p.m. After the show, La Roche students and students from other colleges are invited for an after-party, sponsored by the Network of Indian Professionals, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. that features food, dancing, games and prizes.

The event moved to Kerr's gym last year to accommodate a growing crowd.

“We wanted to make it bigger and better. It was a great success, and the students loved it. It's great to see so many people attend,” said Weber, of Louisville, Ky.

Her friend and fellow GLOBE member, Corrin McElwain, 19, agreed.

“La Roche is a very culturally diverse school so it's awesome to see all of our students come together to appreciate each other's background,” said McElwain, of Kittanning.

A big focus this year, Weber said, is informing more community members about the event and highlighting global causes. While admission to the fashion show is free, donations are being accepted for Ten Thousand Villages, a nonprofit fair-trade organization that supports artisans in developing countries through sales of their handmade products.

The vendor preshow will showcase local businesses and student organizations. Food samples and activities will be available as a way to experience different cultures.

Those attending the fashion show can expect a cultural experience with video, music and dance, Weber said. This year, countries from around the world will be represented through performances that will include a French rapper, Indian dancing and salsa dancing. And, of course, models will wear clothing representing a variety of countries. Most of the attire is donated by the families of international students and faculty.

Globe member Jonathan Touaboy, 22, of the Central African Republic will be the emcee for the fashion show and is helping gather clothing for the models to wear.

Last year, Touaboy's grandmother and great-grandmother in the Central African Republic made traditional clothing for the models. Also, his diplomat father was able to donate clothing representative of the countries he visited in Asia.

“What I love most about the event is that whether you are a model, performer, vendor, or in the audience, it's fun for everyone,” said Marley Romano, 19, of Windber, vice president of GLOBE.

Mandy Fields Yokim is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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