Conscious Party Web Xtra: Runway ready

Photo courtesy of Hope Chest for Women.

WHAT: Here’s Hope Fashion Show and Garden Party

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 13, 11 a.m.

WHERE: OMNI Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Ave.

WHY: Since it began in 2003, Hope Chest for Women has provided more than $200,000 in assistance to women undergoing breast or gynecological cancer treatment in Western North Carolina — but organizers say they hope to do more.

“We tailor our support to meet the woman’s needs,” explains Sara Shuster, director of Hope Chest. “We do the big things like providing wigs or help with co-pays and prescriptions, but we also do the little things like providing gas cards so she can get to chemotherapy.”

Last year, Hope Chest provided $30,000 in financial assistance, but Shuster says the organization aims to expand its budget to $40,000 this year. To that aim, Hope Chest reached out to the community to help put on the Here’s Hope event.

“A lot of people have been touched by breast and gynecological cancer either personally or through their mothers, wives or daughters,” Shuster says. “We were thrilled with the response from the community.”

The models of Here’s Hope are cancer survivors from throughout WNC. They will be escorted by chaperons — including business owners, local teens, judges and even Rep. Nathan Ramsey. The event is sponsored by Belk Department Stores, which will supply the runway outfits, and Carmen! Carmen! Salon and Spa, which will provide hair and makeup.

Shuster says that in addition to raising funds, the goal of Here’s Hope is to spread awareness of the program. She adds that many woman may think the program is only available to Asheville residents, but it is actually open to any woman diagnosed with breast or gynecological cancer in 22 counties in WNC.

“Many of these counties don’t have the degree of support we have here in Buncombe County,” Shuster says. “Even the limited assistance we can provide goes a long way and is often the only support many of these women are able to receive.”

The event also includes a silent auction and raffle. Tickets are $40 or $450 for a table of 10. For more information or to purchase tickets, call  708-3017 or email Shuster at

About Carrie Eidson
Multimedia journalist and Green Scene editor at Mountain Xpress. Part-time Twitterer @mxenv but also reachable at Follow me @carrieeidson

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