COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As she held a picture of her late son Brandon, Cynthia Byrd was surrounded by her colleagues at Lexington Medical Center.
"They are known as the LMC Divas, so that's the ladies who are standing around me," said Cynthia, clinging to her picture.
The Divas are all willing to strike a pose annually for their friend to honor her son.
"Brandon loved to dress, he liked to be neat, he liked his sneakers not to crinkle, so what better way to honor him than with a fashion show," Cynthia said.
Cynthia has been holding a fashion show in Brandon's honor every year since 2008. He passed away in March 2007 in a tragic car accident at 20 years old.
"One-hundred percent of all the money raised is going to the Brandon LaVar Byrd Scholarship Fund that was established in his memory at his church, Haskill Heights First Baptist Church," Cynthia said. Cynthia added the recipients can be males or females pursuing a college education.
Since Brandon's death, Cynthia has worked to honor Brandon's life by holding several additional fundraisers. Cynthia actively collects school supplies for students in areas of need. She's also raised money for local libraries and adopted a highway all in his memory.
While Cynthia got ready to share all the details of the upcoming August fashion show with us, what she didn't know was that one of her Diva friends had nominated her as a Community Builder for all of her efforts to honor her son.
"Seeing her this happy makes me really happy because I know how much time and effort has been put into these events, and everything for my brother, it's just a very warm feeling," said Cynthia's daughter, Kymberlee.
It was a moment of pure joy for Cynthia as she knew the donation would go right back to making sure others had similar opportunities as her son. Brandon was on scholarship at Midlands Tech and working part time at Lexington Medical Center when he died.
"Thank you, thank you so much," said Cynthia. "I just want to give back in Brandon's memory, and I thank everyone for helping me remembering Brandon while blessing others."
The Remembering Brandon Lavar Byrd Fashion Show will be held next Saturday, Aug. 13 at Harbison Theatre at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 a person and children under 3 are free.