The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation presents the 2012 “Our Heroes” Annual Survivor Fashion Show on Saturday May 12, 2012 at . Doors open at 6:00 p.m. with a unique “vendor marketplace,” in including event sponsor . The show begins at 7:00 p.m.
This year marks the fifth “Our Heroes” Annual Survivor Fashion Show event, held every May to celebrate the unique spirit and beauty of breast cancer survivors, fifteen of whom will take to the runway as the show’s models. Their hero escorts—loved ones, doctors, military personnel and emergency response professionals—and audience members will be treated to fashions provided by Botticelli of North Providence, Sonya’s of Cranston and Off Broadway Shoes of Warwick.
“Breast cancer does not discriminate,” said The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation’s Carol Ann Donnelly. “That’s the theme of this year’s show. Breast cancer doesn’t care about race, gender, height, weight or age.” Donnelly, herself a breast cancer survivor, is one of the event’s organizers.
Some of the first-time models were nervous at the thought of participating in a fashion show.
Not Diane Stamp.
“When I was a girl I used to model for a local department store called Peerless and I think theyselected 40 girls from around the state,” Stamp remembered fondly. “I represented Cranston.”
Stamp was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in May of 2011. The diagnosis came as a complete surprise. “It was quite the shock, to say the least,” she said. A self-described “native Cranstonian,” Stamp has worked at Hasbro, Inc. in Pawtucket for nearly 35 years.
“I have never had any health issues,” Stamp continued. “I was living that healthy lifestyle you’re supposed to live. I was doing all the right things and then this happened.”
Breast cancer was, according to Stamp, “the first illness like this in my family or my husband’s family in generations.” Following the diagnosis, Stamp and her husband decided they should wait until they had more information before telling their son and two daughters.
“My son was about to start finals at University of Rhode Island,” Stamp said, “and we didn’t want him to be distracted by this thing we knew so very little about.”
Eventually, Stamp and her husband sat everybody down and began the difficult conversation that would change all of their lives forever.
“Cancer is really a family diagnosis,” Stamp said. “It truly damages the whole family. In a way I’m lucky because my kids are grown. I don’t know what I would have done if they were still young children.”
The outpouring of support from Stamp’s family, friends and colleagues at Hasbro was a great source of comfort and inspiration for Stamp.
“Every week,” Stamp said, “someone was there for me.”
Witnessing firsthand the encouragement of their mother’s Hasbro colleagues, Stamp’s children started to think about all the people who go through this experience without that kind of support system. That’s when the Stamp family began its association with The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation.
“My kids got together, including my son-in-law and my younger daughter’s boyfriend, who’s really a part of the family too, and decided to organize a golf tournament to benefit The Foundation and they raised over $10,000.”
“It was really an unbelievable event,” said Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation Executive Director Maria Gemma of the tournament. “The money raised by events like the golf tournament and the ‘Our Heroes’ Annual Survivor Fashion Show supports beneficial programs and services depended upon by Rhode Islanders we work with on a daily basis.”
The entertaining evening promises to leave participants and guests with memories of a night they won’t soon forget. Spectators will be treated to broad variety of international food offerings and Irish step and salsa dancers and, of course, a one-of-a-kind fashion show.
Individual tickets cost $42 each. A table for 10 people can be reserved for $400 and corporate sponsorship packages begin at $500. To purchase tickets, or to become a vendor or sponsor, please call 401-861-HOPE (4376). Proceeds benefit The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation.
About the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation
The Gloria Gemma Foundation was established in 2004 in loving memory of Gloria J. Gemma and to honor her courageous fight against breast cancer. The organization’s mission is to raise breast cancer awareness; increase breast health education; enhance the quality of life for breast cancer patients, as well as their families and friends; and generate funding for local breast health programs. For more information, please call 401-861-HOPE (4376) or visit www.gloriagemma.org.
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