ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – In celebration of Women’s History Month, 18 News is highlighting four local women who inspire, lead and forge the way for other women.

This week we meet Emmi Saufley. She’s the founder of Runway for Cause and dedicates herself to helping others in the community; in any way she can.

She says her love for giving back stems from a young age. “To be adopted and then brought over here and then raised with the most loving, caring, supportive family ever, and knowing that I can make a small difference whether it was just a small contribution or shedding some light on whatever I could by just promoting them has gotten me through all of it,” said Emmi Saufley.

Runway for a Cause puts on a fashion show each year that includes models from all ages around the Southern Tier. “We love to give back and to raise awareness for the less fortunate or those that just need a little bit more love right now,” said Emmi. In just three years, the group has raised money for international causes, including My Refuge House. An organization that “offers safety and a path of restoration for girls who have been rescued from commercial sexual exploitation, human trafficking, and sexual abuse” she continues. This fashion show allows local artists to break into the fashion industry.

 “This was our way to showcase their positivity, their empowerment that they are doing, the change across the world and then bring it back here to the States and find ways to raise awareness for ending human trafficking, but then also supporting those women who are survivors of human trafficking,” said Emmi.

Emmi is dedicated to helping educate others in supporting their talents. She is an instructor and mentor for students at Ernie Davis Community Center, EOP. She’s been working with Jordan Brooks and the fashion club for about ten years and volunteers in community service programs.

“I’ve connected with our current students and more like most of the youth that are in this area that just need somebody to talk to or somebody to support them in their dreams that they have,” Emmi.

She works with students at Elmira College, EC2 Entrepreneurial Development team with the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School as an advisor. In addition, Emmi also is dedicated to helping her community through fundraisers by volunteering in the Artic leagues annual toy drive and Habitat for Humanity.

 Emmi says she’s inspired by the youth. She looks forward to continuing to be a vital source as she launches an introduction and a creative platform for young talented youth, titled “Le Kim Associates, LLC”.

  “I am extremely excited to move forward and create a platform for these young, talented aspiring young entrepreneurs to give them this support system, teach them, and provide opportunities for new experiences for them to find something that really makes them happy,” said Emmi.

One local winner will be selected to receive a $1,000 donation to a charity of her choice. They will then be considered for Nexstar’s nationwide 2023 Woman of the Year Award.

Our fourth local finalist will be announced on March 29th. You can check out the Remarkable Women revealed so far at Remarkable Women of the Twin Tiers 2023.