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Models With Down Syndrome Shine at Celebrity Filled Event

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Several celebrities walked the red carpet and the runway in the 10th anniversary “Be Beautiful, Be Yourself” Fashion Show Saturday, Oct 20. The crowd cheered and mingled with the likes of Colin Farrell, Jeremy Renner, Heather Graham and more!

What makes this event especially impactful is the transformation of star-power when the models take to the runway.

This photo is a great example. I mean come on! That guy in the background, he’s cool and famous and all (award-winning actor John C. McGinley) but I think we can all agree that Kate Winfield and Claire Hepburn are the stars on that stage.

The two renowned actors in this photo are Heather Graham and Zack Gottsagen. Heather was lovely, of course, while Zack owned the runway.

Earlier in the evening, Zack Gottsagen accepted the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award with both gratitude and responsibility. “Changing the worldview of people with Down syndrome” is a challenge he takes on with hard-working integrity and enthusiasm.

Jeremy Renner told reporters ahead of the event, he came ready to learn. He shared the stage with Walt Snodgrass and Charlotte Fonfara LaRose. They rocked!

Cora Jane Thompson and Ty Dillon strutted and danced to the delight of the crowd. Who’s that other guy? Oh, yeah, Denver Bronco Justin Simmons. Just kidding, Justin, you look great! I think we can all see from that smile, he gets it. This night brings out the shine in everyone.


Brandon McManus escorted Marcus Sikora and the incomparable Destiny Weldon on the runway. Marcus wooed the crowd with one of his signature hat moves.

Collin Farrell spoke on the red carpet and at the platform about the importance of inclusion. Inclusion meaning more than just feeling a part of something, but also being provided with the opportunity to reach one’s potential. He shared an impassioned vision for everyone differently-abled while he accepted a Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award.

This event raised 2.4 million dollars for Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s ambitious medical research, education, and advocacy programs. Thank you to all of the stars who came out. For more information about the important work that Global and its affiliates are doing to significantly improve the lives of people with Down syndrome, check out the Global Down Syndrome Foundation website here.

All photos provided and used with permission from the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.

Originally published: October 23, 2018
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