DANSVILLE — All of the area’s finest were present to share stories of hope and inspiration at the Second Annual Catwalk for Kidneys.
Catwalk for Kidneys was at the Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside on April 22.
Dansville Blessed Assurance Owner Stephanie Conroy started a group of local hair stylists called Special Event Stylists. Conroy had a vision to do weddings and other special events with a small group of friends.
“This is the second annual catwalk for kidneys to raise money for the kidney foundation for people needing them in our areas,” she said. “There are three stylists from Dansville that will head up to this huge event, and we thought it would be a great way to get the community involved in future events. We want to show how great our small town can be to big causes.”
This event goes to show how small towns can come together in a big way. It all started a couple of years ago when Conroy’s best friend Julia Yaw, 29, needed a kidney transplant.
“Julia had to get a kidney transplant a year after she had open heart surgery,” Conroy said. “She got her kidney transplant from a woman (Olivia Morgande) at our church.”
“This really hit home with me,” Conroy said. “Julia is my best friend, and her kids are the same age as mine.”
This event was spearheaded by Yaw to help support those who are kidney survivors or donors.
“All of the models are kidney survivors or donors,” Conroy said. “They all have an amazing story to tell.”
Premier Salon Stylist Jaimi Bratcher and Hair Stylist Patty Forester are part of the Special Events Stylists group.
“We donate our services to 48 models,” Conroy said. “It is amazing to see the range of people at this event. We want to get more local people involved in the event.”
This year featured Bills Dad, a Buffalo Bills Fan Favorite as he brought comedy to the event.
One out of every three people are at risk for kidney disease. Nearly 10,000 New Yorkers are waiting for a life saving kidney transplant.
“It is a huge deal to donate life to someone in need,” Conroy said. “Whether you are an organ donor or donate blood it all goes to a good cause.”
“Julia did the catwalk the first year only four weeks out of surgery,” Conroy continued. “She will be there this year too Julia approached me about being the hair stylist for the event. She knew I would try to make it bigger and better. I love being part of this event. I want to see it grow and thrive.”