Models take to the catwalk for cancer society fundraiser

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Over the past 18 years the American Cancer Society's Hope Fashion Shows have raised $880,000.

The annual fundraising event is nearing the $1 million mark going into its 19th year with a goal of raising at least $100,000 that will go toward supporting the battle against this deadly disease.

This year's event will include a fashion show featuring professional models wearing clothing provided by Belk at Phipps Plaza. Cancer survivors -- 10 women and three men -- will also model fashions during the show.

The survivor speaker for the March 15 occasion is Dr. Kimberly Hutcherson, a radiologist with Gwinnett Medical Center, who will celebrate her third year survivorship anniversary the day of the fashion show.

"Her livelihood and her life choice is to read mammogram images and she has the daunting task of telling women that they have cancer," said Kim Durham, event co-chair and a third generation cancer survivor. "She's been on both sides, I guess you could say, but until (we eradicate cancer), there's someone very compassionate who understands those words, 'You have cancer.'"

The Hope Fashion Show will also include an additional fundraising effort now in its fifth year, Keys for a Cure, in which those in attendance will be asked to pledge any amount of money to the cause.

"Every penny that is raised goes directly to fund research to fight cancer," Dunham said.

With more than 550 of about 600 tickets sold already the event will likely be a sellout, but Gwinnett residents can still get tickets while they last. The $100 tickets will grant holders access to both a silent and live auction and the luncheon and fashion show. For more information, call 770-814-0123 or visit www.hopefashionshow.org.