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Partners in learning goes virtual with annual ‘Just as I Am’ fundraiser

SALISBURY – Partners In Learning has lined up top talent, models with special needs and local sponsors for its Fourth Annual “Just As I Am” Special Needs Fashion Show and fundraiser on Tuesday,

September 8th at 7 p.m. This event will air live on Facebook as well as Hotwire Channel 397.

The annual fashion show is in memory of alumni Jacob Usher, who passed away in 2015, at the age of eight.

“This is our fourth season hosting this special needs fashion show and every year we’ve not only accomplished our fundraising goals, but continued to increase participation,” said Executive Director Norma Honeycutt. “Due to COVID-19, we have the opportunity to go virtual; this opens up a whole new world to share our mission and highlight some of our great children! The COVID-19 pandemic has put childcare in a crisis. Your support is needed more than ever to provide stability for children with special needs in our community.”

Back by popular demand, Ashley Currin will be Partners In Learning’s master of ceremony again this year.

“I am excited and honored to have the privilege of hosting the Partners In Learning fashion show again this year,” Currin said. “It is such an exciting and special night for these children, you can feel and see the love, emotion, and beaming pride radiating out of each child, and I instantly fell in love and wanted to do anything and everything I could to raise money for these amazing children.”

Currin filled the room with laughter and tears last year. She was able to convince Gabe Andruzzi to take his first public steps without the assistance of his walking sticks.

Gabe was later retweeted by Ellen DeGeneres during one of his weekly workouts with Dewayne Smith at Partners In Learning.

Cassie Karriker, the Early Intervention and Inclusion Director  works directly with many of the children in the fashion show. She said the show is an opportunity for the community to see PIL bring inclusion to the county.

Wivianny DeHaas, owner of Heart of Salisbury and Partners In Learning board member, donated the space for this year’s event.

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