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Catwalk for charity

"There will be a children's fashion show. Some [of the models] are sick, some are volunteers' children, but as they walk down the runway they will be donating a wishlist item to RMHC," said Ross. "We really feel they represent the 16,000 families who have been through the doors since we opened; it's what we're all about, which is kids and hope that they'll get better."

Several jockey wives and their daughters will help celebrate this year and Ross said the show usually sells out, packing the tent to its max of 500.

To pull off a fashion show with such fanfare and big city feel, it takes a team of volunteer committee members scrambling behind the scenes to brainstorm, coordinate and ensure it goes off without a hitch. This year's co-chairs are Dr. Mark Moreau and his wife Carole, of Smile Sanctuary, a dental practice in Saratoga Springs.

"I got involved specifically for my office manager who has a son who had numerous surgeries and had to use the facilities and services of RMHC for almost 20 years," said Moreau, who relocated his practice from Canton in 2008. "I'd not really gotten involved in too many charitable events before, but I was at a stage where I wanted to get involved. I listened to many things my office manager experienced through RMHC and thought, why don't I go ahead and meet the lady who runs this remarkable place."

Moreau met with Ross the day after Christmas and immediately felt like he'd hit a "slam dunk."

"The way she conducts her life and business and interactions with people was essentially along the same philosophy of what I was beginning to implement in my dental practice and life. It's much bigger than helping to raise money for the house; it's my small way of hopefully telling a story in a way that people will check [RMHC] out," said Moreau, who defines his co-chair duties as "coordinator of personalities."

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