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Fundraiser fashion show will include mystery guest

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Fourteen models, all friends of Sentinel High School students Kelsey Minnick and Kirstie MacMillen, have volunteered to help with a charity fashion show, but they'll be sharing the runway with a surprise guest.

Minnick and MacMillen will say only that the guest will model a bikini and a tuxedo during "A Night of Fashion" on Wednesday at Sentinel's Margaret Johnson Theatre.

"Our main goal is to get the people there," said Minnick.

The show, which begins at 7 p.m., is a DECA class project and a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House, which still needs about $450,000 for construction.

The two teenagers are taking a Marketing 3 class from instructor Dan Kucera that requires the 40 students in two classes to do projects that will promote awareness.

"The kids have an opportunity they wouldn't have otherwise," he said. "If it doesn't turn out the way they expect, they've still learned from it."

Minnick and MacMillen hope the fashion show will not only let people know about the Ronald McDonald House, but also show that teenagers do take an interest in helping the community. One hundred percent of the profits will go to the Ronald McDonald House, which will serve as a place for parents of sick children to stay during treatment.

"They still need drywall, carpeting and painting, all that stuff," MacMillen said.

So the teens began their project to help out. They rounded up models, lined up businesses to donate clothes and items for a raffle, and booked the Sentinel theater. Their only expense will be for lighting.

"Every day, we'd think of something else to do. It kept piling up," Minnick said.

Help is coming from parents, too, who will sell tickets for the show and raffle. They'll also be in the dressing room helping the models get ready.

Minnick and MacMillen will be using walkie-talkies to communicate with and cue the four males and 10 females who'll model the fashions.

Minnick, who danced for 14 years and was a cheerleader, will call upon her experience to help the models show the clothes to the best advantage.

"Hopefully," she said, "they'll listen to us and it will bring out the leader in both of us."

Maddie Hoffman, Jennaya Peterson and Erika Auth are among those who volunteered to help out their friends. On Monday, the girls tried on prom dresses and ski-style outfits from J. Elaine in downtown Missoula.

"It's fun, especially when you're doing it with your friends," Hoffman said of her modeling debut. "And it's for a good cause."

Auth liked a black prom-style dress she tried on - "It's different; it has a lot of intricate details" - while Peterson chose a white dress that is "huge and poofy."

Other stores donating clothes for the fashion show are Betty's Divine, Dillard's, Target, The Buckle, Beautiful Weddings, Rave, Bob Ward and Sons, and Maurices.

Other students in Kucera's classes have taken on a variety of projects for their assignment that dovetail with personal interests, such as movies, car stereos and Web sites.

"It's easier to teach them about stuff they're interested in than stuffing something down their throats," Kucera said.

"It's always been beneficial. It gives them a chance to go in front of a judge (during competition). It builds confidence in what they're doing in class," he added.

Reporter Donna Syvertson can be reached at 523-5361 or at dsyvertson@missoulian.com

On display

"A Night of Fashion" will be presented at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Sentinel High School's Margaret Johnson Theatre. The fashion show is a class project and also a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House. The public is invited. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults.

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