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Sunday, May 1, 2016

DECA students host fashion show to end teen-dating violence

Monday, February 4, 2013

Marshall High School student Dakota Shy-Ann Perkins walks on the stage of the Little Theater during the "Dangerous" fashion show Friday, Feb. 1. [Order this photo]
For nearly four years, Marshall High School seniors Brenda Cortes and Stephanie Passasi have volunteered in multiple events to raise awareness of teen-dating violence. Within months of graduating, Cortes and Passasi want to go out with a bang.

MHS student Brenda Cortes presents a $55 check to Eleta Salmonson, manager at Lighthouse Thrift Store after the "Dangerous" fashion show Friday, Feb. 1.
And they did, last Friday, Feb. 1, when they hosted the "Dangerous" fashion show to raise awareness of teen dating violence at MHS's little theater

The event, sponsored by Saline County Career Center's DECA chapter, featured modeling and dance performances by 17 student volunteers. Cortes and Passasi presented a $55 check to Eleta Salmonson, store manager of Lighthouse thrift store, which is part of Lighthouse Shelter, a local organization that helps victims of domestic abuse.

Cortes and Passasi, along with other volunteers, previously held a bake sale outside of Walmart, where they gathered the donations for Lighthouse.

"Their focus is domestic violence and that's the second stage of a violent relationship," Cortes said of Lighthouse. "So we thought we would start with teen-dating violence so we could prevent victims from going into a domestic-violence relationship."

Cortes and Passasi said they were surprised with all the support their mission has received. Teen-dating violence, Passasi said, is an issue that can happen to anyone, but it is not spoken of often enough.

"It's a real issue in our community, but very often ignored," Passasi said. "We put on the Dangerous Fashion Show and other events like these in order to give out information to the people and for the community to know that teen-dating violence is an issue. "

Salmonson said she was grateful for the time and effort the students put on to help their organization.

MHS students Brenda Cortes (left) and Stephanie Passasi.
"They work so hard doing it," Salmonson said. "I was very moved and impressed with the effort. It was a fun night."

As Cortes and Passasi get ready to leave for college -- State Fair and Mizzou, respectively -- they said they hope someone else will carry on their legacy at MHS.

"I do hope that someone else who has seen us, or knows about us, will continue to do it sometime in the future," Passasi said. "It's an important issue that can't be ignored."

Checkout more photos of the event at http://www.marshallnews.com/gallery/dang...

Contact Carlos Restrepo at


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