Cancer patients in Montezuma and Dolores counties will get a boost from the thousands of dollars raised on Thursday night at the eighth annual Pretty in Pink Fashion Show just north of Cortez.
The fundraiser benefits the Cancer Resource Alliance, a nonprofit that provides $500 grants to residents with cancer diagnoses. All of the outfits for the show come from the Cortez clothing store Love on a Hanger. Tiffani Randall, owner of Love on a Hanger and board member for the Cancer Resource Alliance, said she wanted to make sure any money raised goes right back into the community – to the people she knows and loves.
“It was important for me to make sure the money stays local,” Randall said.
Local women strutted the catwalk, sometimes with their young daughters, at the Four Seasons Greenhouse and Nursery, as nearly 200 attendees enjoyed a cash bar and pop-up shop. Several women in attendance were cancer survivors themselves.
Yellow Jacket resident Deb Kennedy, a breast cancer survivor, said the grant program for cancer patients is a boon to Montezuma and Dolores counties, which she said is an economically depressed community.
“In this area particularly – it’s amazing,” Kennedy said.
Sue Tompkins, Cancer Resource Alliance treasurer, said the nonprofit has provided 51 $500 grants over the past two years. The fashion show last year raised $10,000, and over the past seven years, the event has raised $50,000.
“That’s helping people we know and love in our community,” Tompkins said in a speech on stage.
In addition to ticket sales and the cash bar, the Cancer Resource Alliance also raised money through silent and live auctions. Cortez resident Doris McDonald won a fast-paced live auction for a pink, concealed-carry pistol. She won with a bid of $750. In an interview after the auction, McDonald said her husband was recently diagnosed with leukemia.
“It’s one of those things you just find out about and it’s life-changing,” McDonald said. “After eight months of life-changing, it makes you realize the importance of helping out.”
Like several other women at the fashion show, McDonald said it’s very important that local money stays in Montezuma and Dolores counties with local cancer patients.
“It’s just a small little area that doesn’t have a lot of other resources, so anything we can do locally is just awesome,” McDonald said.