Because having a severely ill or injured child can be hard on any given family, Castrilli said she believes the House aims to make this time as "stress-free and as comfortable as possible."
"It's their home away from home," Castrilli said. "They can have a home-cooked meal and a safe place to stay."
During the planning process, Castrilli said she has seen great generosity from JCPenney at Carousel Shopping Center, Wegmans and local community members such as Donna Adamo, Rick Policastro, Mary Jane Lowery and the D'Onofrio Family.
Last year, Castrilli dedicated her volunteering and the show to her mother Billie Pollastro, who taught her about generosity, charity and the beauty of fashion. This year, she would like to honor her late mother again, and her late father Mike Pollastro, who taught her integrity and inspired her work ethic.
Castrilli said her husband Joe and her daughter Joelle Ross have been supportive toward the effort for the House. So much so, Castrilli said her husband received the nickname, "That Poor Joe Castrilli."
"We went on vacation and he made sure to get my computer all set so I could stay on top of things," Castrilli said. "If I didn't have their support, I don't know what I would do."
No doubt about it, Castrilli said there are many people who have contributed to the event this year and last, of whom she is very grateful.
The fashion show will feature 50 local celebrity models including Thom Filicia, interior designer; Chris Gedney, former Syracuse University football player and NFL player; Laurie Fine, major gifts director Boys and Girls Club; Debbie Sydow, president of Onondaga County Community College; and the Syracuse Fire Department.
Clothing for the models will be provided by Elsbeth Rose, Eva's Boutique, cate&sally, Giovanni's Men's Fashion and Formal Wear, Koolakian & Manro Menswear, Melissa James Dress Salon, Oleandor at Armory, Showoff's Boutique and Spybaby's Boutique.
A shopping opportunity will feature local vendors at 6 p.m. at the Oncenter, while the fashion show begins at 8 p.m. Several items will be raffled during the night such as two lottery trees that each feature $100 of scratch tickets.
Tickets are $50 each or $500 for a table for 10. They can be purchased at cnyronaldmcdonaldhouse.org.
Attached photo by Rick Policastro: Joe and Michele Castrilli pose for a photo at the 2009 Bella Casa Celebrity Fashion Show.