Friday, October 15, 2010

York Hospital Fashion Fling Raises Money for Breast Care

By Candi Enman
Staff Columnist
After a nine-year hiatus, the return of York Hospital’s Fashion Fling to the Ogunquit Playhouse was met with overwhelming community response. The October 5 benefit exceeded organizer’s expectations, netting $57,000 to support Breast Care at York Hospital, a project of its For Every Patient Campaign.
A red carpet led some 600 “best dressed” guests to a big top-sized tent on the playhouse lawn, where champagne flowed and over 25 area restaurants served delectable appetizers of crab-stuffed mushroom caps, miniature lobster rolls and tuna tartar. The festive atmosphere decorated with bountiful bouquets of pink balloons, fall mums and bales of hay draped in black polka-dots set the tone for the fundraising extravaganza.
A survivor of 15 years, Theresa Dilando of Cambridge, MA who has summered in York Beach most of her life, said it was hard for her to be there. Though not treated at York Hospital, Dilando commented, “This is a tough reminder for me, but I wanted to come out to support the hospital and other women like myself who’ve battled breast cancer”.
Inside the legendary theatre, master of ceremonies WCVB-TV Channel 5 morning news anchor and Kittery Point resident, Randy Price, welcomed the enthusiastic crowd. Before the main event and following a compelling testimonial by hospital patient and breast cancer survivor, Sandy Raynes, a live auction run by Maureen Boyd resulted in lively bidding on luxurious vacation getaways, unique experiences and celebrity memorabilia. Among the desirable items were a guitar signed by Daryl Hall that sold for $1,700 and a Tom Brady-signed football that raised $3,900.
The fashion show, complete with a cat walk that extended from the theatre’s stage into the audience, spotlighted stylish, trendy, glitzy and practical ensembles for men, women and children from a dozen Seacoast-area clothiers and boutiques. The models - physicians, hospital staff, area business people and community leaders – were sharply clad in designs offered by Carla’s of Kennebunkport, Daisy Jane’s of York Village, Lizology of Portsmouth, Freeport’s L.L. Bean and others.
The emotional highlight of the night came in the form of a surprise ending when 40 breast cancer survivors all dressed in black with pink shawls graced the stage. Teary eyes and audience applause culminated in a standing ovation as each woman’s name and their number of years cancer free was read aloud.
“The tremendous turnout and outpouring of support for Breast Care would not have happened without the help and cooperation of the many dedicated volunteers under the driving leadership of Fashion Fling Co-Chairs Ellen Baldwin of Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty and Barbara Conda of Bangor Savings Bank,” said Jud Knox, York Hospital President. “The Fashion Fling was always a community favorite and Barbara and Ellen were determined to bring this show back—making it bigger and better than ever!”
When asked why she came out to support York Hospital, Goldie Abbott of Ogunquit said: “It’s a community hospital that we all depend on and love. This is a great turnout and a fabulous event.”
Photo caption: Models on stage during the finale of the Fashion Show (Courtesy photo)