SAN ANTONIO – Forty-two students with special needs from The Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland – each with an accompanying “buddy” – will model the latest fashions at the “Hand in Hand: A Day on the Runway” benefit at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at the Morgan’s Wonderland Event Center, 5223 David Edwards Drive.

The Academy serves students with special needs ages 12 through 24 and prepares them for life and work.  Models from The Academy student body 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, and 10 students will showcase their own creations,” said Dr. Susan Bineham, The Academy’s 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 The Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland, an innovative, nationally-accredited 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.

Skilled seamstress Sandra Rodriquez, whose son Nathan is a student at The Academy, volunteered to help 10 students design and sew casual outfits ideal for spring and summer.

“The idea to design and make some of the dresses for Hand in Hand originated this past October to give more students the opportunity to be models,” Rodriguez said.  “After I purchased fabric in New York, we started working from scratch in January for up to three times a week.  The students were truly dedicated, and they were eager to help each other.  I’m incredibly proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish.”

The Hand in Hand festivities, coordinated by The Academy’s Parents Teachers Friends and Others (PTFO) support organization, will include a light meal.   Individual tickets for the event are priced at $100 apiece, and tables of 10 can be reserved beginning at $1,000.  Dr. Bineham said ticket, table and sponsorship information is available at

“It’s truly inspiring to see our students confidently take to the runway with their friends from TMI and model the latest spring outfits, much to the delight of their parents, family members and friends,” Dr. Bineham added.

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.

For More Information: Elisa Solorio, (210) 479-3311 or  or

Bob McCullough, APR, (210) 637-3418 or