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All dolled up

American Girl throws its support behind groups that benefit children by letting them host the fashion shows. American Girl sends organizations across the country dolls and dresses; they just need to find models and venues.

So, this is a busy time of year for the Junior League. There are e-mails detailing girls' sizes and doll preferences. There are sessions to sort dresses and make sure girls fit into them. As fundraising co-chairs of the event this year, Kirsten Kropp and Ginny Rosborough are in the middle of everything. Both of them embrace the flurry of activity.

Kropp, after all, grew up in Florida dreaming of joining the Junior League. She got involved when she moved to Washington, D.C., and the league was able to transfer her membership to the Capital District when she moved here.

"It was a great way to meet people," said Kropp, who likes that the league's charitable activities aren't limited to one cause.

"You get a little flavor of all the projects going on in the community," she said.

Rosborough grew up in Clifton Park and came back to the area for law school. Like Kropp, she was looking for a way to get involved and was drawn to the Junior League.

"I've made a lot of great friends through it," she said.

They and other members will welcome several hundred people to the country club for the fashion show, with a crowd of about 250 expected at each of the three sessions. For a $35 admission fee, people get to watch the show, sign up for raffles, have refreshments and take home party favors. There are also extras, such as souvenirs and photos, with this year's highlight being a salon where girls can bring their dolls to have their hair done.

The event isn't just pomp and circumstance; the American Girl line features dolls that have a historical backstory. Carolyn Daggett, the show's model coordinator, said one reason she likes the dolls is that each comes with a book detailing that story. For example, Kit, one of the line's flagship dolls, is from the Great Depression. Her book talks about how her family had to take in boarders for money. More recent dolls deal with such topics as bullying.

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