For the past four years, College of Business students in the Fashion program have participated in the Project Puppy Benefit Gala, for the Killuminati Foundation (KF). Students design outfits for local rescue dogs to wear in the fashion show portion of the gala. The 2014 theme was “Dogs of the World” and 22 fashion students chose to participate in the event with 13 designing unique ensembles for their assigned puppies and another 9 volunteering their time as event staff.
Heather Korte, senior Fashion Merchandising and Design major, received the Crowd Award for her Australian inspired kangaroo design for Weimaraner Sweeny. Chelzey Moore, senior Fashion Merchandising and Design major, received the Killuminati Board Award for her design inspired by Brazil.
Participating in projects of this nature allows the students to apply their skills while donating time to a worthy community organization. “It is important for students to get involved in service projects to complete a well-rounded education. Project Puppy provides an additional benefit for our fashion majors by allowing both design and merchandising students to develop skills through design or involvement in event management. We appreciate the opportunity to help with Project Puppy and look forward to continuing this relationship in the coming years,” states Sandra Bailey, assistant professor of fashion.
The 2014 event was a success, with more than 350 individuals attending the Gala. All of the dogs featured in the fashion show were available for adoption through Boxer/Schnauzer Rescue of the Ozarks, Paws and Hands United, Wonder Weims Rescue and Halfway Home Rescue. As of press time, three of the dogs have been adopted.
The Killuminati Foundation was launched in 2008 to help pet owners pay for unexpected veterinary bills. The KF will pay for up to half of the cost of non-routine medical needs for pet owners in Missouri who qualify. Beyond assisting with medical bills, KF also partners with groups such as the Springfield Boys & Girls Club, Girl Scouts of America and the Library Center to provide education on animal welfare. The Project Puppy Benefit Gala is KF’s main event each year to help promote awareness and raise funds. For more information on KF or Project Puppy, visit www.projectpuppy.org/.