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Young Cancer Patients Step Out on the Modeling Runway

Stage fright? Not these courageous young girls! Walking the runway was a piece of cake compared to battling cancer.

The 5th Annual Bright House Networks Fashion Funds the Cure, a runway show and private shopping fundraiser event benefitting the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, took place on Friday, May 6, 2011 at Saks Fifth Avenue at the Florida Mall.

The special event, hosted by celebrity guest, Brandi Williams, featured ten young girls from the Central Florida area, all of whom are battling cancer. These girls were given the opportunity of a lifetime, when they modeled the latest spring fashion trends, walked the runway with their favorite local celebrities, and celebrated the gift of life, hope, and happiness.

Volunteer Pat Stogner, Area Trainer for the American Cancer Society and Coordinator for the Look Good Feel Better Program for the Orlando Metro Unit, shares her experience at the 2011 Fashion Funds the Cure. “Being a volunteer at this event was a heartwarming, heart wrenching, and awe inspiring experience,” she says. “The sparkle in their eyes, and the hope and determination of these children was amazing. The love, courage, strength, and faith of their parents was evident, as well.”
Supporters and attendees at the Fashion Funds the Cure tasted fine wines and savored delightful hors d’oeuvres from some of Orlando’s premium restaurants, including CRAVE, Fiorella’s Cucina Toscana, Emeril’s, Cool Cakes, Foodie Catering, and Ming Court.
Six-year-old Haley Ebbert shared her feelings about being a model in the fashion show. “My favorite part is the music,” she says with enthusiasm. “My favorite artist is Miranda Cosgrove from iCarly.”
A week prior to the 2011 Fashion Funds the Cure event, the ten young girls who modeled in the fashion show and their families also enjoyed a “Day of Pampering” provided by Saks Fifth Avenue at the Florida Mall. During this time, the girls were able to select the outfits they would model for the fashion show. They enjoyed manicures, facials, make-up applications, face-painting, customized jewelry making, and a yummy lunch provided by Chick-fil-A.
Hannah Harger says trying on her skirt, shirt, and a jean jacket was exciting. The four-year-old adds her favorite part of the pampering experience was, “getting my nails painted purple and all sparkly and getting my hair curled.”

Proceeds for the 2011 Fashion Funds the Cure benefitted the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, (PCF), to fund research for children fighting cancer. Fashion Funds the Cure’s goal is to find less toxic and more targeted treatments for childhood cancer. Last year’s event raised over $100,000 for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
Mary C. Kenny, the event chair and planner, says, “Looking back at the pictures and seeing the girls on the runway, I am touched by their facial expressions and the energy and happiness in their eyes, as they modeled, walked the runway, and were the focal point of the evening.”
If you weren’t able to attend this year’s event, but would like to donate money for the cause, you can make a donation online at: www.fastercure.org/FFTCOrlando. “Any amount will help, whether it’s $5 or $100,” Mary points out.