Like most college students, Rachel Kernic was fairly busy with her studies at Point Park University, but not so busy she didn't think about helping others.
In 2009 as a sophomore, Ms. Kernic and her roommate, Anna DeLattre, decided they wanted to plan a special event, one that would somehow help others in the Pittsburgh area.
"We both love fashion so we thought it would be fun to do a Pittsburgh-themed local fashion show and have it help Children's Hospital," said Ms. Kernic of Cranberry.
The two came up with "Glitzburgh," and since its inception three years ago the event has raised nearly $60,000 for organizations in the Pittsburgh area.
Thanks, in part, to her volunteer work in organizing and overseeing "Glitzburgh" for the past three years, Ms. Kernic received the Outstanding Senior award -- School of Business at last month's graduation at Point Park University.
The first year of "Glitzburgh," more than 200 attended the charity fashion show.
At the most recent event, held May 21, more than 300 people attended.
Every year, the two young women -- along with their good friend, Dominic Janizas, a recent Duquesne University graduate -- enlist the aid of celebrity models. Steelers player James Harrison has been a model all three years and was joined this year by teammate Chris Carter.
Vince Sims, reporter and anchor for WPXI, also serves as a celebrity model.
"We have so much fun with it. We get local shops involved and play up the local theme," she said.
The event raised $14,000 the first year and $20,000 the second year, all donated to UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
The numbers aren't in for this year's fashion show, but Ms. Kernic feels confident that they raised their goal of $20,000. This year's benefactor is the Children's Institute of Pittsburgh.
While the task of hosting the fashion show would seem daunting to some, Ms. Kernic said the three friends have it down to a science.
"I do the logistics, Anna designs the looks and Dom does all the press and media," she said.
This year, Ms. DeLattre had some of her own designs in the show including purchased outfits she embellished and some she created from scratch.
"The fashions were so different and unique this year -- people really loved them," said Ms. Kernic .
Ms. Kernic doesn't seem surprised at the success of "Glitzburgh."
"I wanted to see if I could pull off my own event, and we did," she said. "We just thought it would work and if we raised any money, it would be a success."
With three large events under her belt and graduation from Point Park behind her, Ms. Kernic is looking for a full-time event planning or marketing position in the Pittsburgh area.
"I love it here. There is just so much to do, and it is a great city," she said.neigh_north
Kathleen Ganster, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.