Fighting back MS with fashion


It will be fashionable to fight Multiple Sclerosis this Friday night thanks to a Waterbury teen.

Brooke Cyr, a student at Waterbury’s Holy Cross High School, is taking over the Raymour & Flanigan showroom in Avon to show the latest fashions.

Cyr said, “This event is to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. All of the proceeds will go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to help pay for the research to find a cure.”

Cyr said she organized the show because, “Last year, I held the title of Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen 2017, where I advocated for my platform, ‘A World Free of MS.’”

“I have personally seen the effects this disease has on both the person that’s been diagnosed and their family,” explained Cyr.

“I have been working with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and raising funds for MS research since I was 10 years old, when someone close to me was diagnosed,”’ Cyr said. “I made it a goal to never stop supporting MS research and to do everything I can until a cure is found. “

When she held the Connecticut title, Cyr said, “One of my first goals was to host a fundraiser to raise funds for MS research. Although I had already volunteered at many other MS fundraisers, I wanted to do something to attract a younger crowd, and to make my generation more aware of this disease and the need for a cure.”

“Unfortunately,” Cyr said, “most people my age have never even heard of this disease unless they know someone who suffers with it.”

Thus, a fashion show fundraiser was born.

“Fashion is a great ‘hook’ because it attracts a different, much larger crowd than the typical fundraisers,” said Cyr, who described her own personal style as “anything from sporty cheerleading clothes to beautiful gowns… I definitely like to change it up and never wear the same thing.”

“(A fashion show) not only raises money for MS research, but it also brings in younger people and gives business to clothing, dress, and tuxedo shops during the prom and pageant season.”

The first show was held last year and raised over $1,000, said Cyr. “I received a lot of positive feedback from both the models and the business participants, as well as the spectators.”

This year, Cyr is hoping to exceed last year’s results.

To help the effort, Cyr said Dazzle Boutique of Oxford, Dynamite Boutique of Wallingford, Sophia’s of Avon, Ooh La La of West Hartford, and Modern Formals of Southington are providing fashions. In addition, other businesses are providing raffle prizes, including Marie’s Jewelers of Waterbury, Blake’s Boutique, Lipsense by Robyn Marie, Certified massage therapist Rita Lombardi, Pampered Chef by Jess, Oasis European Skin Spa of Avon, Oriental Beauty, and photo from nboujarat.

“Raymour & Flanigan will also be making a generous donation to this cause,” said Cyr.

To walk the runway, Cyr recruited family and friends, some who are part of Cyr’s Miss Connecticut family and others from the USA Wildcats in Naugatuck.

Stepping onto the catwalk Friday night are: Mason Desaulniers, Alex Desaulniers, Todd Desaulniers, Roy Gless, Klajdi Cepa, Joe Mennillo, Ali Maringola, Emma Goldsberry, Brooke Kibbe, Taylor Gaudiosi, Jayla Maia, Taren Diaz, Cassie Fortune, Rebecca Fitzin, Madison Boylan, Autumn Schless, Gianna Cassin, Karla Aponte, Kathy Fairchild-Bliss, Allie Maisto, Cathy Johnston, Robin Henry, Laura Schless, Emerson Forbes, Cassandra Catherine, Gia Iwanec, Lindiana Frangu, and Ashlyn Manuel.

Wolcott’s Morgan Mancini, the current Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen, will be modeling one outfit from each merchant. These outfits will then be voted on for People’s Choice.

“I would very much like to thank Kate Bailey (of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society) for helping to make this fundraiser possible,” said Cyr.

Cyr’s fundraising fashion show to fight Multiple Sclerosis will be held at Raymour & Flanigan, 15 Waterville Rd., Avon Friday, March 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is a donation at the door for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Brooke Cyr at last year’s Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen pageant at The Palace Theater in Waterbury. (MIKE CHAIKEN PHOTO)