It was the first time I had organized a fundraiser and I was looking for something that hadn’t been done before. I wanted the event to be unique for those who were attending as well as those who were directly involved.
It was decided to do a fundraising fashion show in support of breast cancer in which all of the models would be breast cancer survivors. The intention was to show women in the audience, and it was a women’s only event, and other breast cancer survivors that you can still look as great as you did before the mastectomy when you are properly fitted for a breast prosthesis and mastectomy bra. For this reason all the models had to be wearing a prosthesis and not have had reconstruction surgery.
The models had agreed to not only model clothing from a Canadian company, but also mastectomy bras, bathing suits and other post mastectomy products. This was the reason for it being for women only. Once the models had shown a couple of outfits they became very comfortable modelling and that is where the fun began. What a great bunch of women I had modelling and also a tremendous group of volunteers!
I wanted to tell a little bit about each model and I had asked the ladies to do a short biography and to tell us about their lives. I had written them up before hand and I was very thankful for that because there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience when I introduced each model and told their story. I managed to keep my composure and I believe that was because I cried when I was writing them out! Inspirational was the word that was used to describe the event and the energy in the room was truly electric!
I had a fabulous guest speaker, Carol Ann Cole, who is also a breast cancer survivor and a motivational speaker. She was also a recipient of the Order Of Canada and has written three books which are sold and the proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Foundation.
She did a wonderful speech which the audience loved and she even took the time to go to dinner with a few in the audience who wanted a little more of her time. She also donated her time to be at the event and Amoena Canada paid for her expenses to and from Toronto, Ontario to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Please visit her website at www.carolanncole.com
In the end the total amount of money raised by the event was $9600! I was astounded and truly humbled by the amount of money raised. Of course there are expenses to come out of that, but the total to be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society, Nova Scotia Division with designation for women’s cancers, will be somewhere around $7000. I am very proud to be able to have raised that money in support of such an important cause and am very excited to make this an annual event.
I wanted to tell you about this to inspire you to do the same; I mean to challenge yourself to do something that you feel is just too hard. Many times throughout the planning I wondered what the heck I was getting myself into. There were stressful days and sleepless nights but it all worked out in the end and I could not have done it without the support of the volunteers and my husband. I was amazed at how many people came forward and donated their time and energy to help me with this. I knew I was doing something good when I managed to surround myself with such wonderful people.
So …when you think you can or you can’t you are right! Push yourself a bit out of your comfort zone and you will be amazed at what happens. Fear is a powerful thing and often stops you from doing something that may be a challenge but if you work your way through the fear and go for it, it is an incredible feeling of satisfaction on the other end. If you want to feel good about yourself do something for someone else, the world will be a better place for it!