POLITICS

Sheryl Crow, lawmakers hit the stage for fashion show benefit

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Music,Alicia M. Cohn

House members didn't so much strut as walk the runway Wednesday at the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Gala benefiting the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.

"I don't have much experience on the runway," Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., admitted when asked backstage. She planned to focus on her "model" escort -- and the star of the event -- son Cole, the show's official ambassador this year.

Beverly Johnson, a former supermodel and spokeswoman for the foundation, told us the fashion show format offers an amazing "self-esteem boost" for the participants. Bloomingdale's provided the fashions.

The other models, who all have Down syndrome, were individually escorted down the runway by lawmakers or local celebrities. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, and Fox News's John Roberts, in particular, showed some swagger. Sessions' son, Alex, and Jamie Foxx's sister DeOndra Dixon both walked as models and put on a show that had the supportive crowd in the Ritz-Carlton ballroom clapping.

CNN's Kyra Phillips (wife of Roberts) was a lively emcee during the show and live auction, and Sheryl Crow sang. McMorris Rodgers and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., both received advocacy awards, and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright also attended.

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