Fashion Speaks raises record-breaking $30,000 for Eden Autism

Princeton University students raised $30,000 for Eden Autism at last weekend’s annual Fashion Speaks event. This was the largest amount raised by students in the event’s 17-year history.

Fashion Speaks is Princeton University’s largest student-run charity. Every year, students come together to design and execute a fashion show to benefit Eden Autism.

“There are no words to describe how excited and proud Fashion Speaks is to have raised over $30,000 for Eden Autism Services,” said Catherine Benedict, Princeton student and co-chair of the Fashion Speaks Service Committee. “I really enjoyed working closely with the wonderful people at Eden and seeing how passionate they are about making a difference in the lives of people with autism.”

Students partnered with local and national designers to bring the latest fashion trends to campus. Gucci, Club Monaco, Urban Outfitters, Greene Street, Flutter Boutique, and Nearly New Shop were just a few of the brands and designers featured at the show.

While the clothes were gorgeous, it was the Eden participants that stole the show. Five Eden participants walked the catwalk with Princeton students.

“Autism awareness month is about so much more than just awareness; it’s about inclusion,” said Eden’s Chief Development Officer Melinda Gorny McAleer. “Fashion Speaks highlighted how invaluable inclusion is for both the participants and the community. We are truly thankful to the young philanthropists who helped make Fashion Speaks such a huge success.”

In addition to the fashion show, the students hosted Eden participants at two service events — a dance workshop and a panel discussion — for the community to learn more about autism and living with autism spectrum disorder.

“We loved learning about Eden, and these service events really motivated us to give the show our all,” said Benedict. “Our fundraising chairs, Isabelle Chandler and Emma Rafter, deserve huge props for leading us to our largest fundraising total ever. Fashion Speaks is so honored to contribute to Eden Autism Services’ crucially important mission, and can’t wait for next year.”

For more photos and videos from the event, visit our Facebook page.