STA students show off their catwalk skills

It was anything but a typical Sunday afternoon at St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

Vans bearing the logos Tuxedos with Style and the Flower Room were on school grounds as 250 people attended Fashion Fanfare, the annual fashion show put on by the Dover Point Road school.

The event began with a luncheon. This year there were approximately 30 tables, each hosting up to eight people, as well as a gallery. As is the tradition, each table was themed. Everything from Italian to the beach was represented, and each table was a groaning board, filled with delectable items.

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All the regional catholic schools were represented, and there was a table assigned to a number of residents of the neighboring St. Ann’s Home.

Donna Coraluzzo, executive director of the Dover Children’s Home, and a member of the school’s finance committee was pleased with the turnout.

“I don’t know how they do it,” she said, “but each year they seem to have more stuff going on.”

Callie Patterson, a STA junior was working at the information booth and commented on the event. “This is cool the way they do this,” she said, referring to the fashion show, dedicated tables and more.

There were both live and silent auctions, which offered everything from Red Sox tickets (a pair of which had a winning bid of $400) - for the same figure a lucky bidder won “a scrumptious graduation brunch for 10,” which included “2 parking spaces on graduation day.”

Jim St. Jean, parent of an STA student, is a professional auctioneer who has handled more than 30,000 auctions in his career, and managed the day’s event with skill, talent and a splash of humor.

The long awaited portion of the day was, however, the fashion show. All models were St. Thomas male and female students and they displayed a substantial amount of aplomb as they cavorted on the runway in a variety of clothing, from casual to formal, supplied by 15 local businesses, all led in a masterful manner by emcee Kelly Grimes.

Many of the models were athletes, with boys who were members of the football, lacrosse and track teams, and girls who participated in the Division II sports of track, volleyball, softball and lacrosse.

A number of the models were seniors and have selected colleges for the coming year. Some of the schools are Emmanuel, St. Anselm’s, Providence College and Bentley College, with potential majors running from veterinary science, mechanical engineering, to nursing.

Some potential future models were in attendance: Emalee Obyc of Somersworth is a sixth-grader at Dover’s St. Mary Academy. She was joined by friend Sophia Gorman of Dover also a sixth-grader matriculating at Berwick Academy.

“This is really a fun thing to bring people together,” said Emalee, while Sophia recognized the importance of the day saying, “it is a really cool way to raise money for the school.”

Raising money was the goal of the day as the proceeds benefit the school’s Tuition Assistance program, which helps one in four families afford a St. Thomas Aquinas High School education.

“I have attended every one of these shows,” said STA French teacher Mary Chamberlain. “They are wonderful, they bring everyone together.”

Sarah Scheffer, STA external relations director, said the day was a success.

“This is a special event for our community,” she said.

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