People with special needs to hit the runway at VLPRA fashion show

| December 8, 2016

By Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News

VALDOSTA – Yuko Hadley strikes a pose as she practices her catwalk for her big debut modeling for a very special Christmas fashion show.

“I feel good,” says Hadley. “I feel pretty.”

She says everyone should feel pretty and confident, even people like her with special needs.

“Because we’re special just like everybody else,” Hadley adds.

June Lawson’s son and brother also have special needs, and will both hit the runway Saturday night.

“Just to see them spotlighted and to give them the opportunity where they don’t have to sit on the sidelines and watch other people,” says Lawson. “All the special needs participating will show out for you.”

The fashion show is being hosted by the Valdosta-Lowndes Parks and Rec Center and will be held at their Senior Center.

The models say the ugly Christmas sweaters still make them feel like stars.

“At the end of the day, when everybody just enjoys and the smiles, that’s what it’s all about,” says Lawson.

They say it’s about expressing themselves, and bringing awareness.

“People looking at me and watching me and they smile at me because they like what they see,” says Hadley.

It’s about feeling beautiful today and every other day as a model with special needs.

VLPRA says they’ve already raised hundreds of dollars at a Spring fashion show earlier this year.

Many of the models are actually special Olympians as well.

They say all the ticket proceeds help fund their travel costs for their upcoming winter games in North Georgia.

The ‘Beyond the Runway Fashion Show’ is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at VLPRA’s Senior Center at 1360 East Park Avenue. Tickets are $5.

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