In a world where headlines just seem to be getting darker, allow us to give you a little #GoodNews. Over the weekend, the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital hosted its second annual All Abilities Fashion Show where children from the hospital modeled local designer, Live Life to the Maks. The day was all about highlighting the “beauty in diversity, positivity and resilience” and showcased 20 kids of various abilities walking and wheeling down the runway.
All proceeds for the event went to the hospital and will be used to fund “research and to help programs that help kids with disabilities reach their full potential and lead the fullest life possible,” hospital foundation president and CEO Sandra Hawken told CTV News. The event also offered face painting, among other activities, and live music. Toronto musician Franco Junior was one of the performers at the event and posted a photo with the creators of Living Life to the Maks and the brand’s namesake on Instagram.
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Meet Maksim and his family. People that know him call him Maks. Yesterday I had the pleasure of performing a few songs for the second annual All Abilities Fashion Show at @hollandbloorview …I am truly grateful to have been a part of such an amazing event that empowers kids to feel strong, beautiful, and proud despite their individual obstacles and challenges. There was so much courage in the room. You guys are my heroes and a source of my strength everyday ❤️ Also, Maks stole the show with his white blazer and Thunder pin ⚡️ . . . . #hollandbloorview #thunder #fashionshow #fashionto #whiteblazer #fundraiserto #charityto #livingtothemaks
The fashion brand, Living Life to the Maks was created by Melissa Petrilli and her husband in support of their son Maksim (Maks for short) who was diagnosed with Pfeiffer’s Syndrome and Autism. Their website explains how the label was born from “living our own version of ‘normal’ and loving it.” Melissa also explains that she hopes to “not only encourage acceptance of different syndromes and conditions but also awareness of positivity in the lives of our young warriors.”
The brand makes mostly graphic tees with messages like “I’m not trying to blend in” and “Label me awesome” and also creates patches, key rings and allergy alert tags with the same positive and powerful messaging.
Ahead of this year’s show, the 2017 models gained some renewed popularity too. You can checkout last year’s inspiring portraits here.