Batavia Wal-Mart Supports 'Rock the Runway,' Genesee Community College's 26th Annual Fashion Show 'Take the Money and Run'

Donations for Genesee Community College’s annual Fashion Show come in all shapes and sizes, but Wednesday’s generous gift of $1,000 from Wal-Mart was the perfect introduction to this year’s Fashion Show theme, “Rock the Runway.”

Before the light of dawn on Wednesday morning and with the engine of the Grand Tours bus running in the background, Mrs. Rhea Hewitt, personnel manager and community affairs director of Batavia Wal-Mart, visited the parking lot of Genesee Community College. She presented Wal-Mart’s check of $1,000 to Professor Rick Dudkowski and his group of enthusiastic Fashion Show students just moments before their bus for New York City left the College. Though the monies will be safely deposited in a special account and dedicated entirely to the Fashion Show expenses—the lyrics “Take the Money and Run” – made famous by numerous rock stars such as Steve Miller, Cosby and Nash, Alan Parsons, and Run-D.M.C. – came to mind.

This year’s Fashion Show, “Rock the Runway” is scheduled for Saturday, April 28, 2007. Following the past two years’ success, the fashion show will be presented two times, with the first show at 3:00 PM and a second show at 7:00 PM, both at the Batavia campus in the William W. Stuart Forum. Dudkowski’s students will spend the next six months creating the program and planning every aspect of the big event.

Months before, however, there is time for a group of approximately 50 fashion merchandising and business students, faculty, college friends and a few spouses to take an annual venture to The Big Apple. For a full two days and three nights, Professor Dudkowski leads a dynamic tour that includes visiting Liz Claiborne and Sigrid Olsen Buyer’s Showrooms, Fairchild Publications, Museum Gallery at Fashion Institute of Technology, the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, and Macy’s. There is also ample time for students to visit other sites of their own choice. Among the suggested venues are: The ‘Diamond District,’ Saks Fifth Annual, Lord and Taylor’s, Tiffany and Co., Calvin Klein, Bloomingdale’s, Trump Tower, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

“As a former student of GCC’s Fashion Merchandising program and a one-time participant of the Toronto tour—all I can say is: ‘I wish I were going too.’ This is a great experience and these students are going to have the time of their lives,” Mrs. Hewitt said. “Wal-Mart is always pleased to support community events such as the Fashion Show.”

Any person or organization that is interested in offering support or obtaining further information about “Rock the Runway” should call 585-345-6830.

Editor’s Note: A photograph of Ms. Hewitt with Professor Dudkowski, and members of the Fashion Show’s PR committee is available at:

Photo caption:
The first major gift of $1,000 for “Rock the Runway”, the 26th Annual Fashion Show at Genesee Community College came from Wal-Mart Batavia and was donated to the students just minutes before they jumped on the Grand Tours bus bound for New York City. Standing left to right, (slightly stooped) over are Michelle Nichols and Erica Atseff. Standing in the back left to right are: Eric Wright, Benadet Yvette Burgos, Shamonique Jefferson, Shannon Doyle, Ms. Rhea Hewitt, personnel manager and community affairs director of Batavia Wal-Mart, Genesee Community College Professor Rick Dudkowski, Kim Pulhamus, Mary Dailey, Quawtaesha Cook, and Courtney Paige.