Walking the runway to help children and families: Matt's Memo

Matt Mulcahy and Candace Edwards walk the Bella Casa runway for the Ronald McDonald House of CNY. (CNYCentral)

The snap of the photographers shutter. The flash of the strobe light that helps get the picture just right. Tailors carefully pinning hems. Makeup artists adding evening color to the eyes of the models. Hair stylists sweeping, braiding and spraying for just the right look. This is just some of the action that swirls behind the scenes at the annual Bella Casa fashion show to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Central New York.

On the other side of the house, hundreds of supporters filled the tables lining the runway. Electronic Dance Music pumped through the hotel. Bright LEED lights bathed the models in white as they reached the end of the catwalk. All of the theatrics set the stage for the volunteer models making the most of their rare moment in the spotlight.

Most of us asked to master the art of the quick change have little or no experience where model is included with our name. Some of us have participated in this event before, but few have any idea of what we're doing once the stage manager says "go!"

The best advice from the Bella Casa organizers. Have fun. We all did. Whether it came in the bonding in the dressing rooms. The nervous moments waiting in line. Or, the surge of adrenalin when the generous audience applauds a smile or wave from a model.

A touch of perspective at this event quickly alleviates and pretense of pressure that might exist. A quick chat with staff or volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York inevitably leads to a story of a sick child and his or her family getting much needed rest at the house.

The last issue a family needs to worry about when their child is sick is wondering where they will stay. How will they pay for extended hotel nights and parking garages? The Ronald McDonald House wipes away those worries. They offer a home away from home when life is at its most difficult.

All of us models have it pretty easy. We wear the clothes we're given. We line up. We walk. We wave. We smile. Knowing each step we take helps the next child, the next family who needs a hand.

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