Grace Cope always dreamed of walking down a runway one day, clad in elegant garb - all eyes on her.

Thanks to students from Misericordia University, that dream became a reality for the four-year-old, a recipient of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Senior communications major Amanda Ankner is responsible for organizing the event, the ‘Chic Peek Fashion Show,’ which is in its second year.

Ankner said Make-A-Wish was an obvious choice as the recipient of funds raised at the event, but felt it needed to be taken a bit further.

“We decided to have Make-A-Wish as our benefactor, but to tie it in more - beyond being a benefactor - we wanted to have on of the Make-A-Wish children in the show,” Ankner said.

Little Grace didn’t hesitate at her chance to shine.

Sophomore Christa Porasky, of Falls, said it was a memorable experience.

“It was cool to be a part of something like that,” Porasky said. “That little girl’s dream was to be a part of a fashion show. She was so excited.”

Grace even got to keep the dress she wore, which was donated by Baby Vogue in Kingston.

The show is part of an annual effort by Misericordia communications students to utilize skills they’ve acquired in the field of public relations.

According to Ankner, it’s an invaluable and practical learning experience for the students.

“We like to do the show in order to put what we’ve learned into an actual event,” Ankner said. “It’s something that can get the entire community involved, and we pick a cause that means a lot to us.”

Porasky shared the same sentiment, noting the power of community involvement.

“We learned how to reach out to people, have people come together for a good cause, and everyone was really happy about how it turned out,” Porasky said.

In all, the crew raised more than $450 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation while raffling off more than $1,000 worth of gift baskets from regional businesses.

A variety of businesses, including Martz Trailways, Wayne’s World, Barnes & Noble, and the Misericordia University Photography Club, donated gift baskets or gift cards to the event.

Sponsored by Misericordia University Public Relations Student Society of America, the Chic Peek Fashion Show featured local boutiques, such as Tallulah, Love Want Wear, Buka, Outrageous, Earth & Wears, Duffy’s Accessories, and Pierre’s Fine Clothing & Accessories, showcasing their wares with the assistance of student models wearing select clothing and accessories, and at kiosks in Sandy and Marlene Insalaco.

“It was really something I tried so hard to make happen,” Ankner said. “It’s something I was very proud of = seeing Grace walk down the runway and seeing how many people were touched was great.”