True to their name, Sisters on the Runway (SOR), a Montclair High School sorority focused on education and organizing events that benefit women and children affected by domestic violence, hosted their annual fashion show June past. However, the active club, with a lively membership, held numerous events and meetings throughout the school year. Under the leadership of co-presidents Kelsey Balch and Hannah Bernstein, the club held bake sales, a soccer tournament, participated in a vigil honoring those affected by domestic violence, held a workshop on recognizing the signs of unhealthy relationships, organized a poster competition, and ended the year with the annual fashion show which raised money for Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates (SOFIA).
Emphasizing the theme of domestic violence and intimate partner violence education, the poster contest, held in April, was about spreading the facts and encouraging the community. Dozens of Sisters on the Runway club members planned and drew the posters during lunchtime club meetings. Not only did the club get to know each other better through this interactive project, but everyone learned a lot about the important statistics of domestic violence. The posters were displayed throughout Montclair High School for months, spreading awareness to the high school community.
The top three posters were: 1) “Love is Respect” by Hannah Martin, Olivia Carr, Grace Carr, Cece Sherman and Francesca Caldarella 2) “Love Shouldn’t Hurt” by Clio Marcus, Amber Werner and Kelsey Balch, and 3) ” Check in on Your Friends” by Natasha Halbfinger & Alexis Hamilton. All posters created by club members were displayed during the fashion show as part of the runway show.
The 2022 club fashion show was the first since 2019, due to pandemic disruptions. The SOR leadership is deeply grateful to have been able to host it this year, especially because many club members participated and many community members came to watch and support. All proceeds from the show will be donated to Montclair’s own SOFIA for operating and support expenses.
Organizers are also grateful to the many local businesses that loaned clothes for the fashion show: Barbara Eclectic, Nouvelle, One Savvy Consignment, Quincy Boutique, Dot Reeder and the MHS Thrift Club. Rooftop Productions donated the track, lighting and audio production for the show, and Neil Ryan helped produce it.
No school club can even start without a staff advisor to guide and support their cause. Sisters on the Runway is eternally grateful to Detective Sanders of the Montclair Police Department and a school resource officer at the high school for their assistance. In addition, the leadership thanks the club members and school faculty members who participated, supported and encouraged the club.
Looking back on their year and tenure as SOR co-president, Kelsey Balch said, “The track sisters have been one of the best parts of my time at Montclair High School and I am so grateful for the experience. Being president this year and working more closely with SOFIA and club members has deepened my connection to the cause. I am very proud of our work in spreading awareness and raising funds. I can’t wait to see what the club does in the future!” Hannah Bernstein added, “This year, SOR worked to spread awareness of domestic and dating violence throughout MHS and the greater Montclair community. I have enjoyed being co-president and I look forward to seeing what the club achieves in the future.”
For more information about Sisters in Track and all the clubs at Montclair High School, check out these videos detailing some of the available MHS clubs, stay tuned to this website, and be sure to keep an eye out for the School’s Club Fair Middle Montclair in the fall.