BY TAMARA VON ESTORFF
Oakville residents got a chance to help out cancer patients by sampling fancy food and enjoying fine fashion last weekend.
The Kennedy Ford Dealership hosted The Standing Tall Fashion Show, which aims to raise money and increase awareness for Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan House, an organization that offers support services to those who have cancer.
More than 200 people attended the sold-out event on Nov. 10. Models included 13 cancer survivors, who took the spotlight to celebrate survivorship, and to be an inspiration to others who are currently undergoing treatment and draw attention to the work of Wellspring.
Local food businesses, including Mye Japanese Restaurant, Kerr Street Cafe, Ritorno, and Harper’s Landing served samples of appetizers. Glasses of wine and beer were served for people to enjoy while they auctioned off prizes and purchased raffle tickets. Some of the prizes included designer purses from Kate Spade and Michael Kors, a signed Johnny Bower jersey, gold level Maple Leaf tickets, a Nespresso machine, and clothing from Kit & Ace.
Models strutted their stuff down the runway, striking poses and wearing clothing from fitness wear all the way to semi-formal. The committee described the event as a way of overcoming adversity and pain, and to celebrate strength, tenacity, beauty, and courage.
“Cancer is a touchy subject,” says committee member Andrea Jack. “We want it to be an authentic event where all of our models are cancer survivors, and we want them to go out and have fun and share their stories with each other and enjoy the evening and have their families there to support them,” she said.
Last year, the committee raised $30,000 and they are hoping to raise even more this year. As for the committee’s long-term goals, Jack says they are hoping to make it an annual event, however, it all depends on the success of the event as a whole.
“Events like these do get tiresome,” says Jack. “We’ll hopefully make it so that people want to come back next year and that they have fun,” she said. “We don’t want our guests to feel bored.”
Despite all of the challenges the committee has trying to organize the event, Jack says she is extremely passionate about her work.
“When you get to my age, all you want to do is give back to the community,” she said. “Wellspring is a good cause, we’re all friends, and we just want to give back.”
If you are interested in donating money to Wellspring, you can visit their website. If you want to volunteer, you can sign up for programs online and become a team member.