Archived Story

PC fashion show raises money for memorial fund

Published 8:42am Wednesday, February 9, 2011


On Thursday, Phil Campbell High School students involved with the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America organization sponsored the Third Annual Shelby Lynn Grissom Memorial Prom Fashion Show at the PCHS auditorium.

The show was co-sponsored by local businesses Oliver Corner, Unique Apparel and Southern Bliss Boutique.

In anticipation of the upcoming prom season, 42 female students involved in FCCLA served as models for the dresses and accessories sold by the three different stores and six male students served as escorts and models of the tuxedos offered by Oliver Corner.

Amy Gunderman, FCCLA sponsor and PCHS family and consumer sciences teacher, said the event raised close to $1,000 to benefit the club as well as the Shelby Grissom Memorial Scholarship at Northwest-Shoals Community College.

Shelby Grissom was a senior at PCHS when she passed away on Nov. 9, 2008, after a year-long battle with an extremely rare brain disease called Alexander’s Disease.

Shelby’s mother, Deb Grissom, attended the fashion show and said she knew it was an event her daughter would have been right in the middle of.

“Shelby was a regular kid who loved school, loved her friends, and just loved life,” Grissom said.

“On Christmas in 2007 she was diagnosed with mono after being extremely tired and sick. The fatigue continued and then she started having balance issues, too, so we went further to try to find out what was wrong.”

Grissom said it was only after Shelby had passed away that the family learned she had been suffering from Alexander’s Disease – a disease so rare that there are only 250 known cases in the world.

“She never had a bad word to say about anyone,” Patty Pruitt said.

“My daughter was her best friend and I will always remember how kind Shelby was. She just always saw the good in everyone.”

Shelby’s outgoing and caring personality earned her the title of Class Friendliest, president of her senior class and the 2008 Homecoming Queen.

“She was the most life-loving person I knew,” Grissom said.

Gunderman said she was approached by Sandra Oliver, owner of Oliver Corner, after she first became the school’s family and consumer sciences teacher.

“Sandra wanted to do a prom fashion show to showcase some of the dresses she sells at her store,” Gunderman said.

“I thought it would be a good fundraiser for FCCLA, but that was right after Shelby had passed away so I thought it would be a good opportunity to do something in her memory as well.”

Gunderman said she never had Shelby in class but many of the FCCLA students were enthusiastic about the idea because they said Shelby loved fashion and it would be a good way to remember her.

“The money we raise at the fashion show will be split equally between the Shelby Grissom Memorial Scholarship fund at Northwest and our FCCLA organization, which is the largest FCCLA organization in the county,” Gunderman said.

“Our FCCLA chapter won an award at the state FCCLA meeting last year for being in the top five percent in membership in the state and I think our large membership has a lot to do with the fashion show and the kids wanting to help with it.”

Gunderman said their share of the money raised at the fashion show is used to donate to other charities in Shelby’s memory or to make needed repairs to the family and consumer sciences facilities.

“I am so proud the students decided to honor her memory by helping to raise money for her scholarship fund,” Grissom said. “It’s wonderful to know some senior from Phil Campbell will benefit from it.”

Thanks in large part to the fashion show, the $1,000 scholarship to NWSCC has been awarded each year since 2008 to a graduating senior from PCHS.

Editor's Picks