BEECH MOUNTAIN — Beech Mountain Club’s clubhouse was packed with a sold-out crowd of 144 conspicuously pink-adorned attendees to support those who have been affected by cancer.
The highlight of the June 14 event was a fashion show with a twist: each of the models has been profoundly affected by cancer, either undergoing diagnosis and treatment themselves or experiencing the disease through loved ones.
Dr. Anne-Corinne Beaver, who presented the fashion show, read each model’s story as they made their walk.
This year the proceeds from the event will go toward adding Paxman Scalp Cooling Treatment to Watauga Medical Center’s Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center. The treatment is an addition that helps prevent hair loss associated with some chemotherapy treatments.
Beaver, a survivor herself, benefited from the treatment and experienced minimal hair loss as a result.
ARHS Foundation Special Event Coordinator Addie Cardwell said this year’s fundraiser is expected to bring in about $22,000.
The show was preceded by a champagne reception and lunch, in addition to a performance courtesy of Lees-McRae Summer Theatre.
After the show, Beaver introduced Irene Sawyer, founder of High Country Breast Cancer Foundation, as the featured speaker.
Sawyer highlighted her own struggle with breast cancer, outlining the devastating elements of diagnosis and treatment, but also pointed out how it made her appreciate life differently.
Before her 2010 diagnosis, Sawyer was doggedly dedicated to her marketing career and little else.
“I would travel every week of the year, for 20 years, going from airport to airport,” Sawyer said.
Sawyer described the emotional devastation of witnessing her hair fall out as the key event of the worst day of her life, highlighting the value of the cooling treatment.
Cardwell closed the program with a recognition of the Pretty in Pink Committee.
“We are a rural and small area, and that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to have access to great health care,” Cardwell said.
Cardwell added almost everyone either knows someone who has been affected by cancer or has had cancer themselves.
“We really have to take care of our community and that’s why we do this,” Cardwell said.
The clothes in the show were provided by The Dainty Darling Boutique, BJ’s Resort Wear and Cannon Memorial Hospital’s Gift Shop. Make-up was done by Martha Burleson.