Catwalk for a cause: Local charity to host fashion fundraiser

Savannah Chastain
Modeling coach and make-up artist, John Dye will be on-hand to offer his expertise at the Horizon Stars Fashion show at the Emerald Grande.

An opportunity to strut the catwalk has come to Destin by way of a casting call this Sunday for the Horizon Stars Fashion Show to be held at the Emerald Grande in November.

“It’s a show to benefit the Horizons charity for special needs children and adults in the area,” said modeling coach John Dye. “It gives local talent a chance if they want to get into modeling or runway, and it’s great for local photographers to get to shoot fashion and runway.”

Dye has an extensive background in modeling, make-up and fashion photography, and told The Log that his role in the event will be to coach young models and build their confidence.

“I basically come in and teach the kids how to do runway. This is the best part for me. I love being a coach,” he said. “It’s just fun to see how excited they are, to teach them how to walk, and give them confidence.”

Event coordinator Ada Bowman echoed that sentiment saying for her the show is all about showcasing local talent, raising funds for a good cause, and encouraging the goodwill of all who attend.

“I decided to step in and help Horizons out to bring something different to the area; something fresh and new to give opportunity to kids,” she said. “You never know who is going to walk out on the runway and realize their abilities and talents.”

Bowman herself has a long career as a model and designer visiting places as far as London, Tokyo, and Paris during her time in the fashion industry.

“I’m trying to put a little bit of a big city feeling to the show, but mainly for the purpose for the cause,” she said. “I want people to enjoy it and if we can make a difference and support those who really need it, I will feel accomplished, I’m just trying to give back.” 

In addition to the local and regional talent, Horizons is casting two V.I.P. models for the show.

“I chose to have the stars of the night be two ladies with Down’s syndrome,” said Bowman. “They are so excited they can’t even sleep, they think they will be princesses. Those are truly the stars of the night.”

The Fashion Show will be showcasing exclusive dresses from Simply Elegant, a children’s line created specifically for the show, and a new bikini line. As the inaugural event, Bowman says she hopes to gain momentum from this year to continue the fundraiser for years to come.

“I’m intending for it to grow,” she said. “I do this with passion and I really hope it will go well.”

“Everybody gets to feel like they are doing something good for a charity and a way to be a part of something they love,” agreed Dye. “I just hope it’s a feel good event where everybody wins.”

The casting call will be Sunday, Sept. 21 from 5-7 p.m. in the Emerald Grande ballroom. Both male and female runway models are needed. As designer lines are already pre-sized the call is for women 5-foot 7 inches or taller sizes 0-6, and men 6-foot or taller sizes 28-32. However the show is encouraging all who believe they have something special to offer to attend the audition.

 “We are also casting for a petite line so even if you don’t meet these requirements and you feel you are something special or you really have what it takes we would really like for you to come audition,” said Dye.

“We want everybody to come and learn about it, we don’t know what abilities you might have. If you feel that you have something special please come out,” said Bowman.

Horizon Stars Fashion Show will be held November 13, at the Emerald Grande with all proceeds going to Horizons of Okaloosa County. For more information visit