On Sunday, December 4, nearly 200 supporters of the Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC) enjoyed a lovely afternoon at the Annual Tea and Fashion Show at the Biltmore Resort. The event raised funds for essential support services and educational programs for women dealing with breast cancer.
Before lunch, guests mingled, shopped in the jewelry boutique, perused silent auction items, and entered the pick and choose raffle. After being seated for lunch in a dining room festively adorned for the holidays, guests were greeted by Board President Rose Hodge and Executive Director Silvana Kelly.
Kelly explained how the BCRC “is the place where a person can turn to for answers to the practical and emotional challenges of a breast cancer diagnosis. We are also the support family for those women who have no family to turn to in their time of need. We are here so that they know that they are not alone in their fight against breast cancer.”
Kelly thanked the center’s supporters who enable the BCRC to provide “essential services such as peer counseling and integrative care programs like reiki and reflexology to help with the stress brought on by cancer.” She shared how the center also does outreach activities like teaching women how to do self-exams and the importance of early detection, and how the center has a fund to pay for mammograms for low-income women.
An Asian-inspired chicken salad lunch was followed by tea and a wide assortment of decadent desserts. Then the highlight of the afternoon began — the fashion show — which featured eight BCRC clients modeling fashionable clothes from CAbi. While each model stood on stage, Kelly read thoughts written by the model about how the BCRC has helped her cope in her battle with breast cancer.
Then CAbi stylist Susan Sinclair provided narration of the outfits, while the BCRC clients strutted down the runway with all the style and panache of professional models.
Model Josephina Torres discussed how before coming to the BCRC, her diagnosis had left her overwhelmed and very sad. She related, however, how comforting it has been to talk to BCRC staff about her feelings and receive their loving support. She shared how the reiki treatment also helped ease the anxiety and fatigue that stem from her medication.
Another model, Dr. Holly Goldberg, shared how after completing her dissertation on informed medical decision making, she thought she knew everything there was to know about healthcare choices. Two months later, she got a breast cancer diagnosis and realized nothing could have prepared her for this, “I was shaken to the core.” According to Goldberg, the BCRC offered compassion and understanding. When leaving the center, “I left with my heart soothed and my arms full of books from their lending library ready to figure out how to proceed….The personal interactions I had with the loving staff were paramount in unearthing my strength and resiliency.“
Model Raven Skye shared how she had never been anywhere where she had been treated so kindly. Each story was unique, but all shared enormous gratitude for the help received from the Breast Cancer Resource Center.
Many of BCRC’s counselors are breast cancer survivors who can relate especially well to the needs of clients. All services are offered free of charge. The center receives no government funding. The BCRC is located at 55 Hitchcock Way, Suite 101.
For more information, go to bcrcsb.org.
Send event invites to Gail at firstname.lastname@example.org.