SAN ANTONIO – Twenty-four  individuals with special needs – each with an accompanying “buddy” – will model the latest fashions at the annual “Hand in Hand: A Night on the Runway” benefit from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at the Morgan’s Wonderland Event Center, 5223 David Edwards Drive.

Models will include students from Monarch Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland, a school for those with special needs ages 12 through high school that focuses on preparation for life and work.  They will be partnered with “buddy” students from TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas.

“The fashion-show participants will walk hand in hand down the runway and model beautiful clothes provided by Macy’s Department Store,” said Anne Bristol, Monarch Academy head of school.  “Thus came the inspiration for the name of this fiesta of fashion, fun and friendship.”

The purpose of Hand in Hand is to raise funds for non-profit Monarch Academy, an innovative school for students with mild to moderate special needs.  Students receive a blend of academic, life skills and vocational instruction to help each one reach his or her maximum individual potential. 

In addition, Reaching Maximum Independence (RMI) will present the coronation of the Fiesta Especial Royal Court.  The king and queen and dukes and duchesses, determined by the dollar votes cast for each candidate, will participate in this year’s Fiesta San Antonio celebration in April.  Proceeds from the voting will benefit the Greater San Antonio special-needs community.

A light meal will be served.  Individual tickets and tables of 10 for the dressy-casual event begin at $50 and $750, respectively.  Bristol said ticket, table and sponsorship information is available at

RMI Inc., is a non-profit organization that helps adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the San Antonio area live and work as independently as possible.  More information can be found at

TMI in San Antonio is the flagship private school of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas for students in grades 6 through 12.  Established in 1893, TMI is the oldest Episcopal Church-sponsored, college-prep school in the Southwest.  Visit for more information.