Athletes took to the runway in a fashion show fundraiser for local programs that support and assist victims of domestic violence.
Athletes took to the runway in a fashion show fundraiser for local programs that support and assist victims of domestic violence. (Courtesy photo)

A foundation in D.C. brought some of Washington’s most prominent professional athletes to the catwalk for a cause affecting one in three women.

Becky’s Fund, a nonprofit organization that combats domestic violence, hosted its eighth annual Walk This Way charity fashion show on Thursday, Dec. 8 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Northwest.

“I founded Becky’s Fund 10 years ago with the mission to end and prevent domestic violence through education and advocacy,” said Becky Lee, the organization’s founder. “I wanted to build an organization that breaks the cycle of violence through education and empowerment, and an organization that is proactive instead of reactive.

“Through lessons on positive masculine roles, violence prevention, and leadership, our Men of Code will learn what it means to have integrity both on and off the field, and they are given the tools to take a stand against dating and domestic violence,” she said.

The proceeds from Becky’s Fund fashion show of more than $100,000 went to the nonprofit’s Men of Code program.

The funds raised at “Walk This Way” will allow the foundation to bring the program to three additional schools in 2017. The initiative engages and educates coaches and young male athletes to become leaders and allies in the movement to end domestic violence.

Football players from Friendship Collegiate Academy Public Charter School in Northeast walked the runway and creatively spoke of their involvement through a poem.

The student-athletes hit the runway with pro athletes such as Washington Redskins Vernon Davis, Pierre Garçon, Chris Baker and Nick Sundberg, and Washington Wizards Otto Porter Jr., Kelly Oubre Jr. and Ian Mahinmi.

United States women’s national soccer team members Ali Krieger and Crystal Dunn, D.C. United’s Bill Hamid and Marcelo Sarvas, former NFL stars Dhani Jones, Gary Clark, John Booty and Brandon Frye and former U.S. Olympian Giuseppe Lanzone also walked in the show.

The female models were styled by One80 Salon and Kingsley Model and Management.

Fashion entrepreneur Shivani Dhingra Bajaj served as event chair, and WPGC-FM (95.5) radio personality Sunni and broadcaster Guy Lambert emceed the event.

Attendees sipped specialty drinks and noshed on gourmet food by Rouge Catering, while mixing and mingling with some of the D.C. region’s favorite sports stars, performers, political power brokers, business leaders and fashion trendsetters.

“This evening’s event went to benefit the Men of Code with the hopes of empowering them to understanding what positive masculinity is,” Lee said. “We encourage everyone to continue to break the silence of domestic violence.”

Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s...

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