The ladies who lunch came out in a big way to support breast cancer awareness at the Strut your Style fashion show/luncheon on May 5 at the Jefferson City Country Club.
Not only did the event celebrate breast cancer survivors, it also raised money for The Community Breast Care Project, CBCP, a not-for-profit foundation that has raised more than $50,000 to cancer patients with $500 grants for medical costs.
"We're thrilled to be able to present a check for $10,000 to the Community Breast Care Project," said Sherrie Brant, the chairwoman of the event. "We're embracing the goal and mission of the organization to provide educational, financial and emotional support to the Central Missouri Community regarding awareness of breast health and breast cancer."
Brandt has been personally affected by breast cancer. Her grandmother died in 1946 from the disease and her sister had a double mastectomy. Her mother, a professional model, had a mastectomy in 1959 but lived until she was 92 years old.
"I had many loved ones diagnosed with cancer but when my dear friend was diagnosed in November 2013 all these memories came back and I was determined to celebrate the women and men who, like my mother, persevere to live on in dignity," she said.
All breast cancer survivors, the 13 models, including two men and CBCP Executive Director Lorie Smith, wore fashions from Saffees, Dillard's, I Love this Look Boutique and the JC Country Club Pro Shop. Many wore shoes from American Shoe, and Super Hair provided hair and makeup services for the models.
As the models milled throughout the sold-out lunch crowd, Brant's daughter, Michelle Cole, and Tami Turner, publisher of City Magazine, served as the emcees and kept the event running along and announced the winners of the silent auction items.
With a peacock being the theme for the event, Tauncy Behringer, 28, dressed the part. She finished her treatment last summer and is currently working part time at Riversong Spa and Salon.
"I'm slowly getting back into the workforce and resuming my life," said Behringer, who was escorted by cousins Bernie Fechtel and Tim Schneiders, both breast cancer survivors.
While Susie Barrett and Donna Westhues have been survivors for many years, eight and 26 years, respectively, many of the models had been recently diagnosed, including Sybil Kimmel, Joyce Stephens and Barb Kalberloh, who was diagnosed in December 2013 with a ductal carcinoma in situ, after a 3-D mammography at Capital Region Medical Center. She had a double mastectomy and plans to have reconstructive surgery.
"By catching my cancer early, I didn't have radiation and chemotherapy, and it hadn't gone into my nodes yet," she said.
Joyce Stevens, only one year out from her diagnosis, donned several different wigs from Ellis Fischel during the fashion show.
"I have one called Ginger that's red, another that's silver fox named Suzette, a short blond one (named) Joey and Heather a brunette frosted look and Joyce, the one that's closest to how I used to wear my hair," Stevens said.
Local artist Terry Martin, a professor of art at William Woods University, attended the luncheon, one of the few men present. He donated a framed painting "Anticipation" that had been on display at Cottonstone Gallery for several weeks that the public could see and place a silent auction bid. In addition, chances could be purchased for three items donated by NASCAR star Carl Edwards - a signed miniature replica of his race car and signed visors.
Edwards' mother, Nancy Sterling, drew the winners' names during the luncheon.