A RUNWAY OF HOPE
Published 11:00 pm Friday, March 15, 2013
Children to benefit from fashion show
In April 1978, a vehicle slammed into the rear of Vivian Franklin’s car as she waited at a traffic light on Highway 231 in Troy. Franklin’s car exploded at the impact.
Franklin, her mother, Annie Clyde Franklin and baby daughter, Crystal, received third-degree burns over most of their bodies. They were all airlifted to hospitals in Birmingham. Only the baby survived.
On that tragic day, firefighters tried to pull Vivian Franklin from the car but she resisted. It was only then that they realized there was a baby in the car.
“When they saw me, they got me out first,” Crystal Holland said. “My mother stayed in that burning car protecting me. If she had gotten out earlier …”
Chelsey Holland only knows the story of that tragic day in the life of her family but those images are “crystal” clear in her mind. She thanks God every day that her mother survived the crash.
Perhaps it was those images that woke Chelsey in the middle of the night with “a great idea.”
“Chelsey, a ninth grade student at Pike County High School, has a lot of ‘great ideas’ in the middle of the night,” her mother said. “She had the idea to raise money for Relay for Life in 2012. She baked brownies and made Rice Krispies and sold them. She was Park Memorial’s 2012 Relay Hero.”
Back in November, Chelsey woke her mother in the early morning hours with another “great idea.” Her mother told her to go back to bed and they would talk in the morning.
Crystal Holland knew that her daughter puts legs to her ideas, so she listened.
“I thought a lot about my mother and all the pain and suffering she went through from being burned,” Chelsey said. “I wanted to do something for children that are having to go through what my mother went through.”
Chelsey wanted to raise money for the burn center Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, (now Children’s of Alabama) where her mother was treated.
“My great idea was a fashion show and my mother thought it was good idea, too,” Chelsey said. “We contacted Children’s of Alabama and they approved our fundraiser.”
Chelsey has worked several months getting models and fashions for the “Runway of Hope,” set for 6 p.m. March 23 at the Trojan Center Ballroom on the campus of Troy University.
“‘Runway of Hope’ will be a different kind of fashion show,” Chelsey said. “We will have different scenes, like the 1980s and even a country scene, and each scene feature fashions from those times and places. It will be a lot of fun.”
The fashion show will feature about 25 models from Pike County and Charles Henderson high schools. Entertainment will include the Troy Kappa League, Bag Boys and the Pike County High School Gospel Choir.
Tickets for “Runway of Hope” are $7 for adults and $5 for ages five through 18 and will be available at the door. Sponsorships are also available by calling 334-372-2504.