WESTFIELD, NJ – It's not every day that young athletes and young adults and teens with special needs get the opportunity to sport designers such as Gucci and Armani, but that's just what they'll do Saturday night.

Members of the Westfield Area YMCA Flyers youth track team and participants in the YMCA’s Dragonfly Program, which offers recreational and social programming for teens and young adults with special needs, will star in a back-to-school fashion show at Lord & Taylor in Westfield, starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15.

“The kids pick what they like and that’s what they model,” said Bonnie Cohen, spokeswoman for the Westfield Area YMCA. “Everything is from the Lord & Taylor store.”

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The fashion show is part of a fundraiser to benefit the YMCA’s Dragonfly Program in advance of a 5-kilometer race to happen Sunday.

Customers shopping at Lord & Taylor, 609 North Avenue West, during and after the show from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., who mention the YMCA’s upcoming Run for Everyone 5K race, will have 5 percent of the proceeds from their purchases donated to the Dragonfly Program.

The fashion show comes as runners ready for the third annual such Run for Everyone 5K to be held Sunday, Sept. 16, at 9:30 a.m., at YMCA, 220 Clark Street.

This year’s fashion show and 5-kilometer race will continue to support the Dragonfly and Inclusion Camp while helping to fund the launch of a program that helps young adults with special needs develop basic life skills, organizers announced.

Runners who have yet to register for the race better move fast, the organizers said.

Online registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14. The cost is $30. USATF members run for $27, and youths partaking in a 9:15 a.m. “fun run” race for free. 

Runners may register in person at the Westfield Area YMCA, 220 Clark St., in Westfield, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, and from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. on race day, Sunday, Sept. 16.

Want to help, but not a runner?

Organizers are seeking “course marshals” to staff the race route. Volunteers may contact Greg Hatzisavvas at 908-301-9622, ext. 251.

Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net