As part of a charitable effort, a 14-year-old Houston girl will soon get a chance to walk a fashion runway in a big-time setting.
Last fall, Alexis Fuwell was crowned Miss Texas County Outstanding Teen at the county’s annual beauty pageant. On Aug. 23, she’ll walk the runway at a fashion show in Branson alongside about other 30 models, all of whom will be older than her and many of whom will be close to twice her age.
Set to occur at the Welk Theater, the event will be hosted by RunwayLOUD, an organization dedicated to raising money for March of Dimes that bills itself as mixing rock and roll performances and high end fashion shows for charitable fundraising.
Fuwell (who will be a freshman this year at Houston High School) will be the youngest model in the show. The age range was set at 16 to 29, but she applied and was accepted, anyway.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Fuwell said. “I was online and saw an article about it from New York, because that’s where RunwayLOUD originated. I thought, ‘why not apply?’ I saw the age group and thought ‘I’m not going to let my age get in the way.’
“Also, I’m pretty tight with the director, and they had heard my story about having an actual personal experience with March of Dimes.”
That connection comes from her cousin, Payton, who was recently born weighing only 2 lbs., 5 oz. The baby’s mother almost died during childbirth, and the infant girl now lives with Fuwell’s family.
“They saved her life,” she said. “It really hit home, hard.”
Leading up to the show, participating models are soliciting donations to March of Dimes from businesses, organizations and individuals in their communities. Whoever raises the most funds will earn the “top model” designation and be the face of RunwayLOUD for 2014-2015. The winner’s sponsors will also receive publicity during the entire 12-month period.
“That’s what all the models are really going for,” Fuwell said.
Fuwell said the experience of preparing for the show has been, at very least, interesting.
“It’s been very hectic,” she said, “but I like talking to people and I’ve been doing a lot of that trying to raise money.”
Following her victory at the Miss Texas County Pageant, Fuwell advanced to compete in the teen division at the state level.
“That was tough,” she said. “There were some people there who were very serious about what they were doing.”
Fuwell plans to remain active in the pageant realm, and her goal is to shoot for the Miss Texas County crown when she turns 18.
The feat would be rare, as winners typically live somewhere far outside the county’s boundaries.
“I’d like to represent the county and be from the county,” Fuwell said.
The fashion show in Branson featuring Fuwell and company begins at 7 p.m. and will be preceded by a vendor fair and rock concert (free to the public) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Welk Resort property. The vendor fair includes a children’s zone sponsored by the Hollister YMCA, as well as numerous booths, street performers and activities for all ages.
To make donations and sponsor Fuwell, view ticket pricing or purchase tickets for the fashion show, or to get for more information about RunwayLOUD, log onto www.runwayloud.com.