If you go
* What: DECArate the World Prom Fashion Show
* When: 6 and 8 p.m. Friday
* Where: Performing arts center at South Forsyth High School, 585 Peachtree Pkwy.
* Cost: $7 at door or call (770)781-2264, Ext. 100213
SOUTH FORSYTH — Prom often may be remembered as a night with high expectations, a show of popularity and the height of teenage style, but one Forsyth County high school is putting on a prom — sans punch bowl and slow dances — to celebrate acceptance.
South Forsyth High’s DECA chapter and marketing students are presenting their annual prom fashion show at 6 and 8 p.m. Friday in the school’s Performing Arts Center. This year’s theme is “DECArate the World.”
“Although the production highlights various regions around the globe, the students also wanted to demonstrate that the world needs more acceptance and inclusion, and we can start in our own backyard,” said Nancy Ruff, South’s advanced fashion marketing teacher and DECA adviser.
She said student Alexa Abano asked about including the school’s exceptional education students this year.
“I was blown away and very touched with how our general student population readily embraced the idea of our students with disabilities modeling in the show,” Ruff said. “All my students loved the idea.
“Although [South] strives to promote inclusion of students with disabilities in school activities, we had never encouraged their participation in the show.”
The annual show brings community service into the theme, too, choosing this year to focus its support on a nonprofit that reaches a different group of children than its models.
Students involved in DECA and the fashion show agreed to support the Brian Parks Foundation, an organization devoted to serving families coping with pediatric cancer.
Brian Parks was a South student and DECA member when he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in August 2008. After fighting the disease for more than two years, he passed away in February 2011 at age 20.
In addition to determining which organization to support, students have been planning the production since August, Ruff said.
The show’s theme, choreography, props and various other facets were all created by South’s fashion marketing class. DECA members, part of the international association of high school- and college-level marketing students, assisted in the process.
Nearly 60 students are expected to model this year, Ruff said, and student-performed entertainment will be showcased throughout the evening.
Students are challenged with learning how to produce a professional fashion show while earning money to help DECA members attend conferences and competitions throughout the year.
“Planning events such as fashion shows represents a critical aspect of marketing,” Ruff said. “Students receive first-hand experience in planning and creating a large revenue-generating event. They brainstorm ways to raise money beyond selling tickets to the show.”