Appropriately, the showering skies cleared to offer a canopy of pink, puffy clouds to kick off the Celebration 2016 event in Chico, California, in late October. The community gathered to support and showcase women, and men, who are thriving beyond a diagnosis of breast cancer. The highly anticipated evening, a fashion show and fundraiser which began in 2009, has raised over $66,000 dollars for various cancer support organizations in Chico.
As we arrived at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds, a golf cart driver chauffeured us from parking lot to the event, where we were welcomed by a host of fashionable volunteers, including the founder, Charlene Mikeska. She is the heart and soul of the Celebration, as a breast cancer survivor herself, Charlene knows the importance of embracing the grace, beauty, and resilience that each of the models possesses.
The theme for the fundraising event was pure Hollywood glamor. The event space was transformed into an elegant supper club fit for the stars.
The models, along with their firefighter escorts from Chico Fire, performed lively numbers to songs such as Vogue, Puttin' on the Ritz, Pretty Woman, Hey Big Spender, and R-e-s-p-e-c-t. The glowing faces say it all!
An especially touching moment was a presentation by Samantha Cosentino, a beautiful model in the Celebration 2014, and currently a co-chair for this event. Samantha shared that she tested positive for the BRCA gene and has several members of her family, including her aunt and her grandfather (both pictured), who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her first diagnosis with breast cancer came at the young age of 22. Unexpectedly, Samantha was diagnosed with a brain tumor, a recurrence of her breast cancer, just a couple of months ago. She has since undergone surgery, then radiation, and still managed to co-chair the event. She is looking toward the future with excitement, and a wedding to plan, as she is recently engaged to her longtime love.
For the grand finale scene, the models were asked to choose someone special to escort them down the runway, dressed in fine fashion. Some chose a spouse, a family member or medical professional who guided them through their journey of recovery. Several others chose to be escorted by those handsome firefighters that support the Celebration. Why not, right? There wasn't a dry eye in the house by this time.
The community volunteers graciously come out in full force to create this event. From hair and makeup to clothing and accessories for the fashion show, local businesses shared the love. Local vendors provided a delicious sit-down dinner, drinks, decor, flowers, lighting, staging, sound and a live band, Decades, for dancing after the show. Our hats are off to this amazing community of Chico!
A few final glimpses....
For a glimpse of Celebration 2014, and the history of the event, Celebration 2014.
To learn more, donate or attend the next event, please visit the website, Celebration Chico.
Inspired by the beauty, grace, resilience, and generosity witnessed on this night.
Feel free to share and save the images.
Please credit Style*Mind*Chic Life and link to this post when possible.
I am pleased to donate 10% of profits from my online Style*Mind*Chic Boutique to the Celebration Fund through the end of the year.
Disclosure: I was asked to attend the Celebration 2016 and blog about my experience. Scott and I purchased tickets to support the cause.