It’s all about the twirl factor.
As Lexie Myszak, 5, stood in front of the mirror at Frankie’s on the Park, she was determined to find the perfect dress with the right amount of sparkle and twirl. Her dress needed to make her feel like her favorite Disney princess, Jasmine, she told her mom, Lacie Myszak. After trying on dress after dress at the Lincoln Park store, Lexie discovered a cream-colored number with that perfect shine—and of course—twirl.
Lexie, a patient at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, was preparing for her fashion show debut at the Comer Children’s Kids’ Fashion Show.
During the fashion show, girls and boys strut the runway for a special day of fun while proceeds support patient care programs at Comer Children’s. This year’s event, held Sunday, April 29, raised $132,000 with 140 models participating.
Frankie’s owner Lisa Rolfe Burik describes Lexie’s moment of finding her princess dress with her mom as priceless. The endearing moment between daughter and mom is why Lisa helped start the fashion show eight years ago and why she donates to the patient model program every year.
Through the program, Comer Childrens’ patients can enjoy a day of fashion and fun sponsored by donors like Lisa.
Donors can support a patient to walk the runway for $500. The sponsorship includes a ticket for the model, an outfit from Frankie’s or ThreadDrop, and two adult tickets for family members.
Lexie, diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in November 2016, enjoyed the special day with 19 other patients of Comer Children’s.
For Lisa, the show offers patients a break from reality, but it also gives them an outfit that makes them feel special and expresses their individuality and creativity. “Everyone’s definition of fashion is different,” Lisa said. “Some of them wear a princess dress and then some of them wear PJ’s and carry a teddy bear.”
Lisa volunteers at the show every year and serves on the Comer Development Board and the Fashion Show Committee.
“One of the main reasons that I love the Kids’ Fashion Show is because I can give back, but I also love that it involves the kids in giving back,” she said.
The fashion show started eight years ago in Frankie’s with 15 models and raised $15,000 for Comer Children’s. The Fashion Show has since raised more than $500,000 and Lisa has sponsored 12 patients’ walks down the runway over the years.
For Lisa, no one can put a price tag on the experience of the patient model program. Without the program, Lexie’s perfect twirl and princess dress would not be a reality. “How can you put a price tag on that?” she said.