Fashion show in Benton to benefit MS

Twenty-six models will hit the runway in some of the latest fashions at the Benton Event Center to help raise money for the fight against multiple sclerosis. The annual fundraiser is called "Orange You Lovely" and proceeds will go to the Central Arkansas Walk MS event.

Lisa Finkbeiner, director of special events and development for the National MS Society in Little Rock, says "There will be yummy desserts, more than $3,000 worth of merchandise in our silent auction and amazing volunteers and scholarship winners whom the National MS Society will honor."

The show is presented by 312 Downtown Boutique in Benton. Dr. Marla Murphy of Exceptional Physical Therapy in Benton will be one of the models and she encourages as many people to show up for the event because she will be wearing "some crazy blue pants on the runway."

Dr. Murphy was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998 and the first thing that crossed her mind when she heard the news was fear. "I was a therapy aide at Baptist Hospital and saw the worst cases of MS. I remember asking myself am I going to lose the ability to walk just as my daughter is learning to walk? She had just turned 1 year old and I thought how sad and scary that I might not be able to walk with her. I learned a lot over the years about the disease progression and I no longer fear MS, but I do have a healthy dose of respect for what others have endured. I'm lucky so far."

Dr. Murphy acknowledged that the disease is hereditary and this concerns her. "It does run in families, although no one else in my family has it. One of my biggest fears is that one of my three children will get MS because I have it. Nothing would devastate me more than to know they my children had gotten this disease because I passed it down to them. Mothers are supposed to protect their children from harm, not make them sick."

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. The cause of MS is still unknown – scientists believe the disease is triggered by as-yet-unidentified environmental factor(s) in a person who is genetically predisposed to respond.

Last year, Orange You Lovely raised $6,000 for the fight against multiple sclerosis.

The event begins at 3 p.m. and continues until 6 p.m. Local television anchors Jason Pederson and Christina Munoz will host the show.

Ticket prices begin at $35 for VIP level seats, $20 for general admission and $15 for the Champions with MS.

Finkbeiner says, "It is a wonderful event that shows off the latest fashions from 312 Downtown Boutique and lets our Champions with MS, caregivers and friends with MS walk the runway and be pampered."

The Benton Event Center is located in the Hickory Square Shopping Center adjacent to Tinseltown Theater in Benton.