Off to the races at Gloria Gemma foundation derby-style fashion show

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On May 5, the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation held their annual Our Heroes in a “Derby Style” Fashion Show at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston. A total of 24 honorees were pampered prior to taking to the runway in their fashionable clothing donated by a variety of sponsors, including Sonya's Clothing, Botticelli, Generous Clothing for the Curvaceous Woman, David's Bridal, Carl Anthony Tuxedo, FranklinRogers, Ltd and OffBroadwayShoes.

The men and women who walked the runway are members of the community who are in treatment for cancer, have been through cancer treatment, provide support to cancer patients and/or survivors, are caregivers to loved ones in cancer treatment, or have lost a loved one to cancer. The event sold out and all proceeds went to the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation.

“It could not be more appropriate for the morning after celebrating ‘Our Heroes’ as a derby-style fashion show to see so many messages on Facebook,” said Maria Gemma, Executive Director of the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation.

“So much love and hope filled the building yesterday at Rhodes,” Gemma continued. “If you enjoyed the show from the audience, it was evident in the models. What most did not see was the behind the scenes as they spent hours waiting and then getting their hair and makeup done. They [the honorees] shared many stories of their struggles. They also shared a common bond, one that needs no words. It was evident in their eyes. They understood and felt each other’s pain without words. However, they shared love and hope with each other. That’s the magical part. I watched and smiled.”

Guests were able to watch the Kentucky Derby on two large screens at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet prior to the fashion show.

The evening was full of a dinner, the fashion show, and many raffles. There was also a prize for the best derby hat, which went to Trish Pelletier from New Hampshire. She won $100 worth of scratch tickets.

“My heart is so full when I think of these moments at Gloria Gemma and I think of my mom, Gloria, who we lost to breast cancer. I imagine her life and our loss of her. Then, I think of the love and the hope the foundation established in her honor ignites and I realize that she is still here. She is a part of each of you. You felt her last evening in the love you provided and hope you inspired to each other and to all who attended. Now take the love and hope and share it with all who need it. That’s the real magic. It’s in you. My heart is full. I am so humbled and blessed,” said Gemma.

For more information on the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Center call 861-4376.

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