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Hadassah Southern Arizona fashion show will be celebration of diversity

Models for Hadassah Southern Arizona’s fashion show on Oct. 21 will include Tucsonan Talya Simha Fanger-Vexler.

Hadassah Southern Arizona is hosting a luncheon fashion show called “Walkin’ and Rollin’ Down the Runway” next month.

It will be held on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 11:15 a.m. at the Country Club of La Cholla, 8700 N. La Cholla Blvd.

Committee member Anne Lowe says the fashion show will showcase styles to represent all body types and special circumstances, featuring clothing from Dillard’s department store.

“People with prostheses, people in wheelchairs and people with walkers or canes and even people on oxygen,” Lowe says. “All shapes, all sizes, all health conditions.”

Lowe and Hadassah Fashion Show Chair Rochelle Roth got the idea to put on the event while at the airport with one of the models.

The model, Talya Simha Fanger-Vexler, lost her lower leg in a motorcycle accident and was being pushed in a wheelchair by Lowe during a Hadassah convention.

“We were sitting in the airport, coming home and talking about how she always looks so pretty even though she’s missing a leg,” Lowe says.

That is when Lowe and Roth decided they wanted an event to showcase the different body types of all women in the Tucson community.

“We should do a fashion show that doesn’t have people who are absolutely perfect,” Lowe suggested. “In other words, you can still be attractive even if you have a disability.”

Models for Hadassah Southern Arizona’s fashion show on Oct. 21 will include Syrian refugee teens Rohev Hesso and Ruha Hesso.

While talking about potential models, the pair realized that diversity without regard to race, religion or nationality was just as important.

“We wanted it to be something a little different from the ordinary fashion show, that is why we are stressing diversity,” Lowe said.

Models for the show will include two teenage Syrian refugees. They are cousins whose families are sponsored by two Jewish congregations. 

According to Roth, this will be the first Hadassah fashion show in 18 years.

“I did the first one and it was at [Temple] Emanu-El,” Roth recalls.

The pair hope to repeat the event in the future, if this one goes well.

The master of ceremonies will be Matthew Schwartz, an investigative reporter for local NBC affiliate KVOA, News 4 Tucson.

Lionel Kier, the executive director of Country Club of La Cholla, is helping to organize the event.

Admission is $36; RSVP by mailing a check, payable to Hadassah Southern Arizona, by Oct. 8 to Ruth Osobow, 8701 S. Kolb Rd. #12-226, Tucson, Arizona 85756. Include your name and phone number. For more information, call Roth at 403-6619.