The eagerly awaited fashion show 2011 “When I Grow Up … Dream Big!” lived up to its name, with a big, exciting event. Guests were greeted at the Santa Clara Convention Center by middle school student hosts and led to the event foyer, where they could peruse the beautifully decorated tables filled with auction items. Some tried their luck at the gift wheel, while others headed into the ballroom to find their tables and listen to the Harker Jazz Band, directed by Chris Florio, music teacher.
Banquet tables, decked out with floral centerpieces, surrounded a cross-shaped runway flanked by three active video screens. Chris Nikoloff, head of school, welcomed guests and introduced the show’s honorary chair, Diana Nichols, with a short video clip. Pictures of Nichols as a child and a voiceover explaining her passion for science provided a sweet introduction to Nichols herself, who took to the runway to thank the guests, sponsors and fashion show committee for their work.
Show organizer Sue Prutton, Harker’s director of volunteers, stood to specially thank all the people behind the scenes, pointing out that, this year, Harker students played an integral roll backstage, in the lobby, as videographers and as live and program photographers.
The show’s theme was creatively laced through the show by director, Laura Lang-Ree, chair of the performing arts department. Before and during fashion segments, video screens showed clips of teachers and staff discussing their dreams and giving advice on finding one’s passion. Along with taped video, live video of the action brought excitement and immediacy to the proceedings; J Gaston, graphic arts teacher, and Adi Parige, grade 12, were on the sides of the room ably handing the live video cameras.
But what about the fashion? Macy’s and Eli Thomas for Men of Santana Row provided most of the clothing, and the Giants Dugout Store even got into the action for a segment dedicated to our own hometown World Series heroes. Models of all ages strutted their stuff with confidence, showing off smooth form from weeks of practice. Varsity Dance Troupe, Downbeat and Dance Fusion wowed the crowd with stunning routines, and Downbeat also provided a vocal backdrop to the final modeling segment.
At the evening show the fun continued after the fashion portion with a live auction, ably led by Harker favorite Damon Casatico. He cajoled, wheedled and prodded guests to raise paddles for tickets to the Grammy and Emmy awards, spectacular vacation trips, a quilt made by our kindergartners, a fly-over with the San Jose Police Department, and much more. Guests relaxed their grip on their paddles after the auction and hit the dance floor, enjoying the terrific cover band, The Cheeseballs.
The excited buzz heard throughout the evening continued as guests filed out, suggesting the event was a success for all who attended, and thus for Harker!