ENGLEWOOD — Mark Grossenbacher is the principal of Englewood Elementary School. But on Saturday, he’s going to be a fashion model.
The longtime principal didn’t flinch when asked to help third-grade teacher Lauren Hanrahan at his school suffering from a rare disease.
Hanrahan, 32, has three tumors on her spine. The mother of two young children began having hearing problems after she became pregnant with her son. Suddenly couldn’t hear out of her left ear. After numerous tests, Hanrahan was diagnosed with a rare disease neurofibromatosis type 2, also known as NF2. Tumors grow on the spine, in the brain, ears and other extremities.
When Brad Pike, owner of Off the Wave on Dearborn Street, learned that Hanrahan, a mother of two, is facing hearing loss, he wanted to help. His thought was to invite teachers and administrators to a unique fashion show and feature a series of handmade paintings of historic Englewood.
“The paintings are of Lock ‘N Key Restaurant, Key Agency when it was on the key, Paradise Realty, and Englewood Elementary School before it was renovated,” Pike said. “They were painted by a really talented local artist, Ernesto Herrera. They will be auctioned off.”
The show is 4:30 p.m., at the Englewood Elks Lodge 2378. Tickets are $35 and include a meal.
Pike has 100 tickets to sell by Saturday. For weeks, he’s gathered prizes for a silent auction and raffle. He hoped area teachers and administrators would enjoy attending the event to help support another teacher.
Because Hanrahan is beloved, teachers and friends quickly volunteered to model fashions from Pike’s store. Head Hunters in Englewood volunteered to do hair and makeup. Models will wear fashions from 30A, which are made of recycled plastic bottles; Southeast Salt, which are handmade garments in Sarasota; Coolibar, Giocam made of Peruvian cotton.
“Some will model Tasc, which is our high-end Bamboo line,” Pike said.
Hanrahan’s little girl Mia is also modeling along with her friends — the Faro triplets, Ashton, Brynn and Corlynn — who are first graders at Englewood Elementary School. Brian Faro is also modeling.
Other models include Natalie Baggett, Grace Watson, Jamie Brookshier, Anne Smith, Natalie and Josh Baggett, Grace Watson, Jamie Brookshier, Anne Smith, Jamie Brookshier, Stacy Onken and Jessica Haworth. Quinn Ham and Lucas Henry, fourth-grade students at Englewood Elementary, are also modeling.
“Another model is Stephanie Ham, who is one of Lauren’s strongest supporters, and together they have become ambassadors for a nonprofit called NF2 BioSolutions, working on finding a cure using gene therapy,” Pike said. “Together they have made it a mission to spread awareness about NF2.
Hanrahan is excited about the event.
“It will be a fun night with so many wonderful, amazing people in our community,” she said.
Tickets are available at Off the Wave, 409 W. Dearborn St., Englewood.