Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wallets, Survivors Open Up at Fashion Show for Cancer

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wallets, Survivors Open Up at Fashion Show for Cancer

Article excerpt

Byline: Mary Maraghy, County Line staff writer

First Coast News anchor Donna Hicken cried as she explained how breast cancer has helped her focus her life.

She spoke Friday afternoon before about 300 people at a luncheon/fashion show fund-raiser for the Clay County chapter of the American Cancer Society.

The second annual "Fashions For a Cure" held at the Cypress Club and Ballroom raised more than $9,000 to aid Clay County cancer patients and their families.

The luncheon was a precursor to the second annual River of Hope Charity Gala on Saturday, Feb. 28, which will also be held at the ballroom.

Local cancer survivors and relatives modeled fashions by Stein Mart and Eva Chapman at Friday's luncheon, which also featured a silent auction and raffle prizes of weekend vacations and a fishing trip.

Organizers were pleased with the attendance.

"Today is proof that Clay County is an ally in the fight against cancer," said Candace Bridgewater, an organizer.

Also impressed with the turnout was Therese Yanochik, who last week became the new executive director of the Clay chapter.

For the past five years, Yanochik was the special event manager for the Duval County chapter. She oversaw the Cowford Ball, a western-style event that raised more than $600,000 last year.

Yanochik was busy ripping and selling raffle tickets at Friday's luncheon.

"I love this," she said. "The people and the community support is great."

Some cried as guest speaker Hicken, a two-time survivor of breast cancer, explained how she was a driven, Type A personality "who didn't smell the roses." She said cancer snatched her by the collar.

"I know I got this disease for a reason," Hicken said, breaking in to tears and apologizing for it. "I'm thankful for every day and for the mindset to be thankful."

Hicken said people don't truly fathom that life can be snatched away unless faced with something like cancer. …

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