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August 12, 2011 > A charity birthday celebration

A charity birthday celebration

By Raji Ramanathan
Photos By Courtesy of Neha Verma

A sophomore English class changed the way Neha Verma saw her future. She felt the need to change her community and saw an opportunity through her love of fashion design by hosting a charity fashion show while learning about "upstanders" (those who stand up and make a difference to society). An incoming junior at Mission San Jose High School, Verma joined the Alameda County Junior Commission on the Status of Women and decided to combine her Sweet Sixteen birthday celebration with a Junior Commission project... a charity fashion show.

"I can't believe this is finally happening," says Verma. "I've designed the event to include a fashion show with entertainment in the beginning and then have dinner and a dance."

Verma's passion for fashion didn't just begin with this project. As a little girl, she learned how to design and make clothes from her mother and grandmother. In recent years, Verma has been spending a great deal of time on Polyvore, a website where she can design outfits and meet other young designers. In fact, she recently created the website which gives updates on her event.

Attendees are requested to give a minimum of $15 at the door and will be entered into a raffle for surprise prizes. Dinner provided by Salang Pass Restaurant in Fremont and entertainment are included with admission. Unlike other girls her age, Verma is only asking that her guests bring donations for Oakland Children's Hospital instead of a gift for her birthday. Funds from the event are going to the Child Life Oncology Fund, a fund used to organize birthday parties, activities, and presents for the patients.

Verma says, "I hope that the money from the event helps at least one child feel less bored or lonely and more at home."

Charity Fashion Show for Children's Hospital
Sunday, August 28
5:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Century House and Gardens
37447 Fremont Blvd., Fremont

RSVP to: in advance
Minimum donation of $15

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