23 September 2010
Today was an inspiration – that’s the best word to describe it.
Runway for a Cause is a luncheon and fashion show here in Little Rock to benefit the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute (CARTI), St. Vincent’s New Outlook program and Baptist Health. And today marked my very first time to ever model at a fashion show. While I wasn't excited about modeling, how could I say no to the cause. But it quickly apparent that this was a different kind of show, as all 40 models were breast cancer survivors – none of us being professionals at this gig. That's what made it fun.
Wednesday night was our “rehearsal” – which is very necessary when you have 40 models who are not regulars on the fashion runway. It was a three-hour practice with food, wine and new friends – strong and courageous members of the sisterhood, many of them longtime survivors, some of us who have just joined the ranks. But we all knew what was inside our hearts and minds, even if we were only meeting for the first time. Yes, it is possible to meet and become soul sisters within an evening – I learned that last night, as I now have many new “sister friends”
Fast forward to today . . .
I’ve been to fashion shows before, but this one was quite different, in a good way too. It was much fun wearing two different and fabulous outfits, one from B. Barnett and the other from Beyond Cotton. As each of us walked the runway, the packed crowd of mostly women cheered, applauded, and shouted out to us – a sister-to-sister connection I’ve never felt before. And the music was so uplifiting: I’m Coming Out, I Feel Like A Woman, You Sexy Thing, Celebration, Pretty Woman, and Isn’t She Lovely.
And the finale – Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, where all 41 models come on to the runway one at a time holding a poster card with their name and how long they’ve been a breast cancer survivor. In my mind, I was there as a volunteer to help raise money for the cause, at least up until the finale, which was very emotional for me. The crowd was on their feet applauding the survivors as if we were rock stars – and emotionally I just lost it. You could feel the support, could hear friends calling out your name – even if the runway lights kept you from seeing their faces. It was high energy times ten – and a total of $135,000 was raised to benefit the various community breast cancer programs.
The most inspiring story of the day was a 96-year-old survivor and model who has kicked cancer's butt three times in her life - two of them being breast cancer. She was a beautiful woman, a proud smile on here face, a true inspiration to all of us.
This blog entry is about to end as I sit her with tears streaming down my face. This was a very emotional day for me, feeling good about my progress, and very sentimental about this beautiful community called Little Rock that is filled with lovely people who make this town feel like one big family during times of challenge. What inspiring women, what beautiful friends. Today was another great day.
Posted by Stacy Sells at 11:08 PM