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'Fashions for Hope' benefits cancer research

September 26, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

KAUFFMAN STATION, Pa. - They might never be selected as finalists on "America's Next Top Model," but the 12 women showing off fashions Tuesday night already have something to celebrate.

All have survived cancer.

"Having ovarian cancer, knowing what I went through, there are so many people out there that don't realize the American Cancer Society isn't just research," Kelly Spinner said.

Spinner, of Greencastle, Pa., said the cancer society also provides services such as transporting patients to appointments and supplying wigs for people who lose their hair during chemotherapy treatments.

She kicked off the "Fashions for Hope" benefit as the first model, wearing a red chenille sweater and brown knee boots.

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Proceeds from the first-time event will be divided among four teams raising money for Relay for Life. The Lioness Club of Greencastle, Jaywalkers, Kauffman Ruritan and Salem Church of Waynesboro, Pa., all have between 15 and 50 people on Relay for Life teams.

Darlene Higgens received credit at the fashion show for pulling it together over the summer.

"We started talking to the (Dress Barn) manager, Tresia, then we let it go for a while and got our models ready," Higgens said.

She talked to family, friends and people from her church to sign up the models, who ranged in age from 29 to 82.

"Within the first week of calls, we had everybody," Higgens said.

Slightly more than half of the 300 available tickets were sold for the dinner and show held at the Kauffman Ruritan Center.

"It's very exciting because cancer has touched some of our young church people. ... That's our inspiration, I think," said Linda Stoler, who is the captain of Salem Church's team.

Jan Eppleman said having the fashion show in September provided a way to remind the public about Relay for Life, which traditionally is held in May.

"I think it's inspirational that (the models) have had cancer and have survived it," said Eppleman, who is a member of the Lioness team.

The models worked with Dress Barn employees to find outfits in colors and styles that complemented them.

"I feel very comfortable," Spinner said. "As a matter of fact, after the show, I'm buying this."

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