I have organized many events since 2012 but none have ever touched my heart as deeply as A.I.R-Asthma is Real has.
My brother Cory Dorris was born on August 9, 1986. He was always the sociable, funny and outstanding guy that you can spot from a mile away. Whether it was through a joke, an impersonation or a silly dance, his ultimate goal was to make others smile. But, behind his smile one wouldn’t think that he suffered from asthma. Throughout his life, Cory has always fought against his condition.However, he never let it stop him from enjoying life to the fullest.
On August 8, 2015, asthma took Cory physically away from his love ones. Asthma is caused when the airways of the lungs swell. This leads to loss of breath and it could lead to death. Although there is not a cure for this condition, through proper treatment, an asthma attack can be prevented. Unfortunately, not enough people in the community are educated and/or informed on the effects asthma has on its victims. Because of this, individuals like Cory have faced a fatal outcome.
I planned the event “A.I.R-Asthma is Real” to raise funds towards the education and prevention of this condition. I came across the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)- Michigan chapter while researching asthma statistics in america. After reading the work they are doing specifically in Michigan, I knew they were the organization I wanted to partner with in making this event a success.
Sherlyn Fox and Pete Peter was astonished to hear I was planning a two day event in only 2 months. To be honest, I was as well. BUt I was determined to keep my brother’s memory alive. Even more so, I knew above all that instead of crying because of death, I wanted to celebrate for the years he lived. After presenting the idea to my mother, she was ecstatic and jumped right on board.
We made flyers, posters, sold t-shirts, sent email blasts, called directly to friends and Pete even made A.I.R buttons to help spread the word. Every initiative helped make a big difference.
The Blue Tie Gala was the jump start of the A.I.R event.The event was hosted by Ms. All World beauties, U.S. 2015, Sherlyn Fox. Media sponsors were Wake Up Detroit Magazine and GP Photography. Guest speakers includes Kathleen Slonager who is the executive director of AAFA. Elizabeth MIlton from the Detroit Alliance for Asthma Awareness provided statistics on the effects asthma has on the citizens of Michigan. Everyone looked very sharp in their blue attire in support of the event. There were much work needed to be done to make sure the venue and the program would be ready when doors opened at 7pm. Thankfully, we had volunteers from the student organization, Pre Med Society-Oakland University there to help set up. The food was well prepared by Evelyn Gray. Local michigan designers showcased their lines. The fashion show opened with Gasvierre Designs, then with PHC by Perry and closed off with Ashley Harris. The models and makeup were exciting. Models included beauty queens and performers. To add to the excitement of the program were several live performances. Pauline Bynum performed a contemporary dance. Ms. Down River's Outstanding teen, Amanda Coy showcased her renowned baton act that she has won national titles for. Local teens, Krysdionne and Emma did a great job in their duet praise dance. Entertaining, informational and inspirational are words best to describe the Blue Tie Gala. Thank you DTE energy for sponsoring a table. Lana, president of AAFA was in attendance in her blue as well. We appreciate St John's Banquet and Conference center for allowing us to host our charity event at their venue.
The next day at the Jaycee park in Berkley was a fun filled day for all ages to enjoy. Bounce house, snow cones machine. Massages,3 legged race, wheelbarrow. There was a Silent Balloon memorial in memory of those that passed from asthma and in honor of those living with it. The food was fulfilling.
A speciak thanks to Zoom House Couture for sponsoring the volunteer tshirts. Rita, president of the Detroit Alliance for Asthma Awareness was able to stop by to show her support for the festivities.
Overall, A.I.R-Asthma is Real was an event like no other. Not only did I honor my brother's memory, but in doing so i shed light on a disease that is far too often overlooked. Family, friends and support from all over came out to support. Whether it was one day, both days or by providing a generous donation, we greatly appreciate everyone that was involved in making A.I.R a great success. Fashion House of F.A.B was excited to be able to make a contribution to AAFA. After this event, Fashion House of F.A.B plans to continue working with AAFA towards increasing awareness about this serious condition. All while serving the fashion community within the Greater Metro Detroit area.