On the field they are occasional competitors, but when Waukesha West, North, and South high schools teamed up with Kettle Moraine, the four came up with something that would benefit the greater community.
Ashley Romasko, a senior at Waukesha North High School, said it was a tweet from a friend and former classmate last year that got the ball rolling.
'Paige Goodings, who is a graduate now, tweeted about having a charity fashion show, and I responded saying 'let's do this,'' Romasko recalled. 'It started with a tweet, and it just built from there.'
Last year the schools teamed up for a quickly planned and executed clothing drive. The idea was to sort through the clothes, turn them into fashionable outfits and walk them down the runway. After the outfits had their moment in the spotlight, they were all donated to the Hebron House, Romasko said.
This year the Strut Your Stuff Fashion Show is scheduled for April 5, and between the four high schools DECA programs, more than 6,5000 items have been collected to donate to the Salvation Army Rescue House.
Alex Bauer, a senior, of the Kettle Moraine DECA, said he was involved a little last year, but this year enjoyed pulling together the clothes donations at Kettle Moraine.
'We conducted a contest between all the classes in our school, so it was cool to see everyone get competitive but at the same time donate things to a good cause,' Bauer said. 'We just did our dress rehearsal, and it was cool to see clothes I've donated and sorted through get turned into really cool outfits.'
Gaby Lazcano, a junior at Waukesha North, said she helps out where needed, including in fashion design.
'There's such different stuff that we get, so it's pretty easy,' Lazcano said.
Kathryn Plesha, a Kettle Moraine senior, was a model last year and said that getting in front of her peers isn't as scary as it sounds.
'It's not scary; it's fun,' Plesha said. 'You get nervous when you first go out, but then you do it, and you're like 'This is really exciting, and I want to do it again.''
Forty models will represent the four high schools at the event.
DECA — which Plesha described as 'a business organization for future marketing and business leaders' — helps to sponsor the event, and the organization has been a common thread with each school. Romasko makes it clear that this is a student-led initiative and estimates that there are about 70 students involved in the project outside of modeling doing things such as marketing and promoting the event.
'It's a student event, but DECA sponsors it,' Romasko said. 'There's really no adult leader, which is sometimes a barrier, but most of the time it's just impressive, and it's really fun.'
Romasko also noted that although the group put together this event once already, this year comes with its own challenges.
'(The second year) is a lot easier, but making it better is a challenge, so it's really the same amount of time but it's just spent doing things to improve it,' Romasko said.
Brandon Polzin, a junior at Waukesha North, said that overall the best part of the event is what the four schools are able to accomplish together.
'I really enjoy that all the schools come together,' Polzin said. 'When you have band and sports all the Waukesha schools compete, and now we get to bring together all the schools for a collaborative effort and a good cause ... I think it's just really good as a community to do that.'
Tickets for the April 5 show at the Waukesha Civic Theatre are $5, but supplies are limited. They are being sold by students involved in the show. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.