The 14th annual Style ‘N’ Stones Jewelry Show on Friday will feature local jewelry artists and benefit the Cancer Coalition of Southwest Colorado, helping local cancer patients go through treatment easier.
The artists will offer a variety of jewelry items and donate 30 percent of profits to help the coalition buy gas cards and give financial assistance to cancer patients who live in Archuleta, La Plata and San Juan counties.
Coalition President BJ Boucher said the group started in 2003 with around seven volunteers who helped educate women about breast cancer.
In 2009, the volunteer coalition broadened its reach to include all types of cancer. Since then, the coalition has given more than $290,000 to help cancer patients, currently providing up to $500 per patient in financial assistance and gas cards in the amount of $25.
The coalition receives money through fundraisers like the Style ‘N’ Stones event.
Susie Fisher, a local artist with Style ‘N’ Stones, donated money to three coalition events and said the show means a lot to her because her brother died from cancer earlier this year.
“It’s an amazing thing to realize the power of each person in the community,” Fisher said. “I sold a little bit over the years, and it all added up.”
Friends and local jewelry artists Nancy Conrad and Cindy Scholfield said they became involved with Style ‘N’ Stones because they wanted to help people with a variety of needs in the Durango area. They both lost a sister to cancer and know the hardship associated with treatments.
Conrad said her sister fought ovarian cancer, and organizations like the coalition make things easier for cancer patients and their families.
“I think of my sister a lot when I’m working because she was a real inspiration to me not only in life but as a jewelry maker,” Conrad said.
Scholfield said she was one of her sister’s caregivers and knows the pain of dealing with cancer.
“It’s such a relief for people to know they can get help as they’re trying to figure it all out,” Scholfield said. “It is so tough for families to go through that, and having some financial and physical help is huge.”