Fashion With Passion


History of Fashion with Passion

Fashion with Passion is a fundraising event which benefits Deep Cypress Caring Heart and Deep Cypress Scholarship through Deep Cypress Alliance. Each year, the Jordan Merecka Caring Heart Award is presented. This Award recognizes individuals who have taken a traumatic situation and turned it into something positive to inspire a community.



Jordan Merecka Caring Heart Award Recipients:

2012 – The Merecka Family (The Jordan Merecka Caring Heart Fund)

2013 – Glenn Wilkerson (A.R.K. Adults Relating to Kids)

2014 – The Chaffin Family (Travis Chaffin Memorial Scholarship)

2015 – The Carroll Family (Texas Children’s Hospital)

2015 – The Pennywell Family (Aaron’s B.A.D.D.)

2016 – The Gordon Family (Abby’s Gift)

2017 – The Batchelder Family (Laurel’s Army)

2018 – Kyle Boles (Young Life)


Fashion With Passion was created in 2012 when the Cypress community rallied together to host a fundraiser in support of one of its own, the Merecka Family. Their oldest son, Jordan, was on a mechanical heart and in need of a heart transplant. He became the first total artificial heart recipient from Texas Children’s Hospital in downtown Houston. The Fashion show raised approximately $65,000 to help offset past and future medical expenses. And it ignited a community flame. The Jordan Merecka Caring Heart Fund has since been created in Jordan’s honor. He inspires perseverance for those facing life struggles.

The 2012 event was so successful the organizers chose to host a second Fashion with Passion fundraiser for the A.R.K. Group, a local services non-profit organization, Adults Relating to Kids.

In 2013, tragedy struck Cypress with the heart-breaking death of 17-year-old Travis Chaffin. This devastating event mobilized students and families from the Class of 2014 at CyFair High School and Cypress Christian School, as well as the community at large. The outcome was the Travis Chaffin Memorial Scholarship.

The life and character of Travis was honored at the 2014 Fashion with Passion, now an annual event. Twenty-eight of his classmates served as models at the equally uplifting and emotional Fashion Show. With proceeds from the show, 10 students received more than $36,000 in Travis Chaffin Memorial Scholarships.

In the spring of 2015, Fashion With Passion honored Drew Carroll and her family. Drew is a sweet and feisty 4 year-old little girl who was diagnosed with Leukemia (ALL) in June 2013. Today the Fashion with Passion event helps fund both the Deep Cypress Caring Heart and the Deep Cypress Scholarship, which now operate as individual pillars under the umbrella of Deep Cypress Alliance.

The 5th Annual Fashion with Passion Event featuring the Class of 2016 Models was a resounding success. The honoree Kae Pennywell and family. On June 25th, 2011, Kae and Dennis Pennywell’s precious son, Aaron, was killed by a drunk driver that was 3X over the legal limit. Kae and Dennis take their son’s mangled Mustang to high schools through Aaron’s B.A.D.D. to show what a fatal crash looks like. They talk about the dangers of drunk driving and urge students to be safe and responsible.

The 6th Annual Fashion with Passion Event featured the Class of 2017 Models. Melinda and Clyde Gordon received the 2016 Jordan Merecka Caring Heart Award. The Gordon family suffered the tragic loss of their baby daughter Abby and were inspired to help other families going through a similar experience through ‘Abby’s Gift‘.

FASHION WITH PASSION 2017 – The 2017 Jordan Merecka Caring Heart Award was presented to Melissa and Steven Batchelder with Laurel’s Army. Deep Cypress Alliance salutes the Batchelders and Laurel’s Army for their commitment to the fight against childhood cancer.