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December 2009 metroSPIRIT: In the Face of Tragedy

One Woman's Story on Overcoming Loss While Realizing a Dream

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Yet still she wanted to do more. This past spring she came up with the idea of hosting a fashion show, entitled Fashion Victim, to raise money for MADD and enhance public awareness of the issue. With the runway fundraiser, all of Wieczoreks interests and talents coalesced. She is a Community Health Education major, a model and former beauty pageant participant, and passionate about the drunk driving cause.

"I had always wanted to host a fashion show... But I never thought I had the power to make my dreams come true."

That Wieczorek was able to realize her dream of producing a fashion show is impressive in itself; that she managed to do it in 18 weeks is a feat. "I had always wanted to host a fashion show," admitted Wieczorek, "But I never thought I had the power to make my dreams come true." 

She underestimated herself-her energy, creativity, and drive. Wieczorek had a finger in every pot of the planning. She coined the events name. She designed the events signature logo, red high heels. She envisioned the programs cover featuring a model clad in a shimmering dress poised in front of a police car with empty beer cans strewn about. She solicited the events sponsors, lined up the guest speakers and gathered her fellow students and models to walk the runway.

The first Fashion Victim Fashion Show was held August 29 at UNOs Collaborating Commons. Over 300 were in attendance, raising $8,000 for MADD. Thirty-three models- over half were UNO students- sported clothing from Nouvelle Eve, Gap, Runway Boutique, Wake N Skate Boardhouse, designer Liz Moldenhauer, Roots and Wings, Pastel Groove House by Shamina Wiek, Buckle Inc., and Robot Luv.

Drunk driving victim Justin Reese, First Lady of Nebraska Sally Ganem and Nebraska State Trooper Chuck Elley joined Wieczorek in speaking of their experiences with drunk driving.

Wieczorek was pleased with the amount of community support, especially from the underwriting sponsors, the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association, Hy-Vee, No Frills, Bag N Save, OHara Plumbing Co, Inc., and 7 Day Furniture. She is already planning next years event, with additional sponsors and designers on board.

The event was so successful that Wieczorek wants to take it on the road. She is planning a show at UNK for the spring and hopes to add two additional shows at UNL and Nebraska Wesleyan. She will rely on local sponsors and designers and host regional casting calls for models. I want to help the local economy, too, she adds.

In helping others, Wieczorek discovered that she also was helping herself. This is healing for me, she said. In being the light for other, as her minister challenged, she shed some much needed light on her own darkness.   

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-end- metroMAGAZINE

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