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Local celebrities, business leaders, and philanthropists strutted the catwalk on the south lawn at Encore Boston Harbor this week as part of an Evening of Changing Lives Under the Stars, a fundraiser to benefit Northeast Arc. The event, attended by more than 500 people, raised close to $700,000 to benefit local children and adults with disabilities and their families.

“It was incredible being back together since we had to cancel the in-person event for two years due to the pandemic,” says Jo Ann Simons, president and CEO of Northeast Arc.

The highlight of the event was an inclusive fashion show in which special guests walk the runway with someone who is receiving or has received services from the Northeast Arc. The presentation was hosted by Kim Carrigan, co-host of Baystate Business on Bloomberg radio and a longtime ambassador for Northeast Arc.

The models included Massachusetts first lady Lauren Baker; philanthropist RoAnn Costin; Josh Kraft, president of Kraft Family Philanthropies; Marylou Sudders, Massachusetts secretary of health and human services; Dr. Patrick Tutwiler, superintendent of Lynn Public Schools; Chris Wayland, president and general manager of NBC10 Boston, NECN, Telemundo Boston, and NBC Sports Boston; and James White, record-breaking running back with the New England Patriots.

The evening also included the presentation of the Changing Lives Award, in recognition of outstanding contributions by a community partner. This year’s award went to Nancy Huntington Stager, president and CEO of the Eastern Bank Foundation, for her steadfast support of the Northeast Arc, and her work to promote equity, inclusion, and opportunity for people of all abilities.

The event was sponsored by Encore Boston Harbor, Eastern Bank Foundation, PLAN of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, New England Biolabs, Ralph and Janice James, Quinn Brothers, One Digital, and Turkish Airlines.