SALISBURY – Partners In Learning will be canceling its in-person Special Needs Fashion Show scheduled for Sept. 14 due to increasing COVID-19 numbers in Rowan County. A virtual date will be set for later in the fall.

“There are so many variables to consider when planning an event during a pandemic. Our committee took the time to review the specifics of our event including, current COVID-19 rates, safety recommendations, and the families who star in our show, which led to the difficult decision to go 100% virtual with this year’s event. Many of our models are medically fragile and it is our responsibility to keep them safe. Last year our virtual Fashion Show was our most successful year. We hope that the community can support us again this year, just as they did last year,” PIL Executive Director Norma Honeycutt said.

The annual fashion show is in memory of an alumnus Jacob Usher who passed away in 2015, at the age of eight due to a heart condition. The funds raised from this event go directly to programming needs including adaptive equipment and materials, as well as, scholarships for families who would not be able to afford the needed services.

“Families of children with special needs can face a tremendous amount of medical and educational expenses. It is our goal that no child be told no services because of the family’s financial situation,” Development Director Amy Vestal said.

Partners In Learning began providing telehealth services at the beginning of the pandemic to help support parents and is continuing the services during the current surge.

“The need is greater than ever, with our waitlist over 420 children long. Parents are calling us daily, pleading to get their child into our high quality early education center. Just because there isn’t room at our centers doesn’t mean we can’t support the family,” Intervention Director Cassie Karriker said..

Donations can be made by mailing a check to 2386 Robin Rd. Salisbury, NC 28144 or by visiting