Girl with Down Syndrome chosen to model at D.C. fashion show

EDGEWATER, Md. - Most girls love to get dressed up in pretty clothes and Charlotte Fonfara-LaRose is no exception.  This week, the 11-year-old gets to put on a fancy outfit and model it in front of hundreds.

Fonfara-LaRose is one of 19 models from across the country chosen to walk the runway at the Global Down Syndrome "Be Beautiful, Be Yourself" Gala and Fashion Show in D.C.  All of the models, who have Down Syndrome, will be paired with members of Congress and other local celebrities.

"Oh, she just grinned from ear to ear," said Charlotte's mom, Cathy Fonfara, when asked how she took the news of being a model.  "She loves to dance and she thinks she's a super model already, so she was very excited."

Last year, Fonfara and her daughter attended the gala as guests.  Fonfara is delighted Charlotte was chosen to be one of the models this year.

"It's an opportunity for others to not only see how amazing Charlotte is, how beautiful she is and how bright she is, but it also showcases what people with Down Syndrome are capable of," said Fonfara.

Charlotte is just like most of the children at Central Elementary school in Edgewater.  She's very social, loves to dance and listens to Katy Perry.  The only thing that makes her different, says her mom, is being born with an extra chromosome.

"I know she can do anything she puts her mind to.  In some areas, it may take her a little longer than a typical child but she'll do it, she'll achieve it," said Fonfara.

Walking in front of hundreds on a runway?  A cake walk for this happy, smiley girl.

For more information about the "Be Beautiful, Be Yourself" Gala and Fashion show, click here .

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