Tutus for Tatas fashion show, luncheon to support cancer research

Are you aware of an event or project that benefits our community? Contact Anna Ferguson at 770-963-9205, ext. 1308, or anna.ferguson@gwinnettdailypost.com.

The who for what? That's right: the Tutus for Tatas. It's a catchy name for a worthy cause.

"Isn't that name great?" said Kathy Cook, co-chair of the team.

Under the leadership of Barbara Mock, the Tutus for Tatas team is quite literally what they sound like: a group of women and men, parading about in tutus with the higher purpose of stamping out breast cancer. These are not just any tutus, though. They're decked out in pink and white ribbons, with names written on each. The pink ribbons represent breast cancer survivors, and the white are for those who have lost the battle with the disease.

"We call those, the names of those on the white ribbons, our angels," said Mock, who lost her stepmother to breast cancer about seven years ago. "So far, I have 77 names, and each walker has different names. It is truly shocking how many people have been affected by this disease."

The team formed in 2005 with 28 members. This year, the group has more than tripled in size, with 102 walkers from across the country. In 2006, the team raised about $250,000, and this year, they are aiming for a combined two-year total of half a million dollars.

To help do this, the team is holding the second annual A Taste of Hope fashion show and luncheon.

In founding this show last year, both Mock and Cook were unsure how the response would be. They wanted all items to be donated, so all proceeds would benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. But would area businesses step up to the plate?

"I was amazed," Cook said. "You'd be surprised what you can get if you just ask. Everyone we dealt with had some connection to breast cancer, whether it was a mother, sister, friend."

A Taste for Hope, to take place at First Baptist Church Sugar Hill, will feature a sampling of food from more than 10 area restaurants, including Johnny Carino's, Dominick's, Proof of the Pudding and the Atlanta Bread Company.

Dillard's at the Mall of Georgia will provide the fashion show apparel and makeup and hair services for the runway models, all of whom are breast cancer survivors or currently undergoing treatment. A live and silent auction, with prizes such as vacation packages, couture jewelry and other goodies, will be held, and vendors will provide health and wellness information.

"It's so touching to see these women up there on the runway. Some of them are in wigs, some are without any hair at all," Mock said. "This event is more than just about raising money. It's about bringing the community together and bringing together hope. I do believe a cure is out there. There is light at the end of this tunnel."

A Taste of Hope will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church Sugar Hill, located at 5091 Ga. Highway 20 in Sugar Hill. Tickets are $60, and tables of eight are available. A reserved number of free tickets will be available for cancer patients with limited means. Proceeds will go toward breast cancer research. For more information, call Cook at 770-972-2104 or Mock 770-963-9493.

Volunteers needed for golf tournament

Dream Makers Youth Foundation is seeking volunteers to help work concession stands Sept. 11-16 at the PGA Championship Tournament at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. Volunteers will earn a prorated portion of the net concession sales and receive one meal ticket for each shift, and a pass to watch the tournament before and/or after their shift. Call 678-398-6693.

Burgers to better the world

Red Robin restaurant chain will hold The Next Gourmet Burger Kids' Recipe Contest today through Sept. 16 to benefit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Children ages 6 to 12 are asked to submit original burger recipes, along with a statement on why their burger deserves to be America's next gourmet burger. The winning burger will be featured in every Red Robin restaurant next summer.

The winning gourmet burger, and 50 additional recipes from kids across the country, will be selected for inclusion in a cookbook to benefit the center. Visit www.redrobin.com

Realtors gamble on raising funds

The Northeast Atlanta Metro Association of Realtors will host a casino night fundraiser from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday at the Atlanta Marriott Gwinnett Place, 1775 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth. A silent and live auction will also be held. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Proceeds will benefit the Realtors Political Action Committee. Call 770-495-7300 or visit www.namar.org.

Clothing sale hosts book drive

The Boutique Armoire children's consignment sale will hold a book drive for Room to Read from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9:30 to noon Saturday at the sale, held at the Norcross Community and Cultural Arts Center, 10 Britt Ave., Norcross.

Room To Read partners with local communities in developing nations to build schools, bilingual libraries, and computer and language laboratories, and also provides long-term scholarships to girls. Only new books will be accepted. Call 770-277-5361 or visit www.boutiquearmoire.com or www.roomtoread.org.

Gwinnett animals will benefit from 'Rat Pack'

Fidelity Investments Broadway Across America Atlanta will partner with the Gwinnett Humane Society to offer advance tickets for "The Rat Pack: Live at the Sands" at a special discount. From every ticket sold, $5 will be donated to the Gwinnett Humane Society, a volunteer-supported, nonprofit organization founded in 1979 to promote animal welfare.

The show will be performed Sept. 25-30 at the Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St., Atlanta. Visit www.gwinnetthumane.com.

Monkey Joe's to hold military night

Monkey Joe's will partner with Operation Homefront to host a free admission and pizza night for military families from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 28. Monkey Joe's is an indoor family entertainment center offering inflatable jumping activities. Military I.D. is required.

The free event will be held at seven Georgia locations, including the Norcross location, 3190 Reps Miller Road, and the Duluth location, 5805 State Bridge Road, suite 600. Visit www.monkeyjoes.com.