On Saturday, October 26, PNWU’s LGBTQ+ Alliance for Health hosted the first annual Halloween Fashion Show Contest, live from Yakima’s Game and Grog Bar.
Inspired to take a different approach in hosting a club fundraiser, LGBTQ+ Alliance for Health president Polly Wiltz says the event aimed to provide members of the Yakima community with an opportunity to connect with PNWU medical students in a lighthearted and enjoyable way. Throughout the contest, the club promoted a raffle-style fundraiser, which included prizes that were donated by a variety of community businesses.
“It’s easy as a medical student to stay within the realm of PNWU during our didactic years on campus,” Wiltz explained. “We wanted to break away from that tradition. The fashion show was a way for the LGBTQ+ Alliance for Health to send a message that our medical students and faculty are allies and advocates for people from all backgrounds."
The fashion show contest was judged by a panel made up entirely of PNWU faculty and students, which included Alan Boyd, Sarah Moritz, Elmera Peyman, Professor Hepner, Dr. Baldwin and Dr. Brady. In the end, first-year medical student Oak Sonfist's Vampire Drag performance took home the top prize. Second place went to second-year students Annika Lavoie, Carson Twiss, Eline Cové, Kendra Paskvan and Tsaina Mahlen for their group-costume interpretation of Netflix’s “Stranger Things.”
Over 120 people attended the first annual event, with 34 contestants in the fashion show. “We raised a little over $100 for the fundraiser,” said Wiltz, "but this event was a success more in the impact it had in the Yakima Community. We were told that this was one of the best PNWU events they’ve ever attended, we were thanked for giving people a safe space to celebrate Halloween and be themselves.”
The club hopes to host a similar event next year, so start planning your fashion show costumes now.