Pflugerville man defying all odds by walking in national fashion show


21-year-old Ronnie Brown has already taken New York Fashion Week by storm, and now he’s walking in the largest Down syndrome fundraiser in the world.

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas — 21-year-old Ronnie Brown, of Pflugerville, is continuing to check off his list of accomplishments. 

Brown has championed against all odds to continue completing his list of accomplishments. This list includes runway modeling, painting, community activism, being an ambassador for the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas, competing as a Special Olympics athlete, and acting in commercials.

Last year, Brown walked the runway at New York Fashion Week as a part of the “Runway of Dreams Fashion Show.”

And now on Nov. 12, Brown will be a featured model in the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s 13th Annual Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show taking place in Denver, CO. After taking place virtually for two years during the pandemic, the fashion show will be back in person this year.

“He would come home and walk through the house back and forth. So we sent his submission in and they selected him! I told Ronnie we got the news in the mail, opened it up, and he’s been practicing ever since,” said Brown’s sister LaTasha Rodgers 

“I can show them my moves,” said Brown. 

In addition to his list of accomplishments, Brown is also the founder of a French fry business called The Fry Guy. Brown successfully launched his business in 2020, and for the last two years he has been sharing his infectious laugh while serving up delicious French fries to members in the community. 

“I can’t say enough of how this community supports him from his teachers to his coaches. When we first started, I just kind of put it in our little community Facebook group, and people came over to the house and we just sold the rest from the house. It was amazing to see people continuously supporting not just one or two times, but asking ‘when are you guys having another event?,'” said Rodgers. 

The annual “Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show” benefits the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and is the largest fundraiser for Down syndrome in the world. The event has an attendance of over 1,400 guests each year and has raised over $24 million for Down syndrome research, medical care, advocacy and education.  

When asking Brown if he still needs to practice his runway walk, he was confident he’s ready.

“I got it!,” said Brown. 

Brown hopes by participating in this event, and many more hopefully in the future, he can serve as inspiration to others and especially people with Down syndrome that anything is possible. 

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