Children Helping Children

text and photos courtesy of

The Phoenix Women’s Board of the Steele Children’s Research Center

Left: Kyle Christensen; Allison Irwin; Jacque Linaman, PANDA board president; Dr. Fayez Ghishan; Gretchn Schubert; and Lindsey Williams. Right: Children keep their eyes glued on the runway.

On April 14, the 19th annual Children Helping Children Fashion Show and Luncheon was held at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn. Hosted by The Phoenix Women’s Board of the Steele Children’s Research Center, affectionately known as P.A.N.D.A.(People Acting Now Discover Answers), the event netted more than $3 million for children’s epilepsy research.

As nearly 1,200 guests arrived, the party began outside with an impressive silent auction, featuring creative, custom-made playhouses. Children greeted the arrivals, encouraging all to purchase raffle tickets.

Mike Bill, Sam Fox and Kevin Calihan.

Once inside, the seated luncheon and fashion show, themed A Jewel in the Desert, began. Generously outfitted by Ralph Lauren, 55 children from the Valley and Tucson graced the runway in the stylish spring fashions. As always, they stole the show.

Kyle Christensen, Lindsay Williams, Gretchen Schubert and Allison Irwin co-chaired the event. For the 18th consecutive year, Michelle Etkin served as the model coach. Auctioneer Letitia Frye led the spirited crowd to bid generously while Jamie Krell served as the emcee.

Left to right: Allison Irwin, Andrea Stewart Pritchett, Lauren Ellington, Alicia Flatin and Lacy Francisco in front of the BoHo beach house designed by PHX Architecture in collaboration with Sonora West Development and Broadrick Design.

Proceeds support the Steele Center’s exploration, in partnership with Rady Children’s Genomic Institute in San Diego, into basic science and clinical approaches focused on children who had their first epileptic event as infants or at an early age.

The Rady team will provide whole genome sequencing for children, and the Steele team will investigate genetic mutations to determine their functionality and how to treat them. The goal is to develop a new paradigm for treatment of these children through research, including whole genome sequencing, examination of structural brain disorders and metabolic issues.

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