Catwalk for a Cause turned it up a notch for this year’s 6th annual fashion charity event.
From the moment that you arrive, there is no question that the night will be an experience that you will never forget. The greeters are quick to get you checked in and into the venue so that not a moment is missed with the provided comforts of the evening, nor the organization’s main focus, raising funds for the fight against Cancer.
After opening with a cocktail hour filled with good food, spirits, silent auctions, raffles, and friendly conversations, the evenings Emcee, Jamie Little from Fox Sports took the stage and invited the crowds to their seats.
Before starting the runway show we were introduced to the host & hostess for the night, Sherry Pollex and Martin Truex Jr., the namesake of the foundation. Martin and Sherry filled the room with background on the Martin Truex Jr. organization, many of the highs that they have been able to provide to the many cancer patients that they have met over the years, and even stories & statistics that opened the eyes to many of the attendees.
Before starting the show, Mark Griffith with the Levine Children’s Hospital took the stage in a Q & A session with Martin and Sherry on what all has been done with the countless generous donations and what is still needed with future generosity.
The lights dimmed over the crowd as the beat of the music increased and our Emcee for the night welcomed our first looks of the runway show. The evenings Catwalk looks for Women were provided by local boutiques like Avalilly’s, Fresh, L-Squared, Lavendar, Luna’s at the Lake, Scout and Molly’s and Poole Shop. The Men of the runway were also dressed by some of the finest local boutiques, Taylor, Richards & Conger, The Sporting Gent and Tabor. Belk provided the amazing garments worn by the children that strutted down the runway and made the audience swoon.
Although the runway sported some of Nascar’s heavy hitting rock stars like Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse, Ryan Newman and Dale Jr., it goes without saying that the true stars were the 7 children who are Cancer survivors, and the one, Grace, that watched the show from her hospital room and was there in spirit, that came to wage a greater fight than trends and fancy wardrobe, they came to fight cancer and challenge us all to stand strong and fight with them.
Catwalk for a Cause continues to grow each year, from its first list of 50 tickets to tonight’s attendance of over 600. Growth is good for such a deserving organization. After the VIP experience from the start of the night, to the star studded runway, top notch fashion production, it was the woman that sat in the seat next to me that stood with each child that walked down the runway as tears ran down her face and the emotions that she displayed as one of the models carried down the runway a sign in her hands that read “we love you Grace” for the one that was watching from her hospital bed that made me understand that the night was not about all the bells and whistles and VIP treatment. Tonight was about hearing what 50 to 600 people, over 6 years, and countless hours can manage to accomplish when they bond together and accept a challenge that seems so big. To the woman that sat next to me, the tiny cancer warriors and the many people in that room tonight the challenge didn’t seem quite so large, yet rather obtainable, as long as we do it together.
All photos: Ozzy Ojito