NEWBURYPORT – With this being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, community members will celebrate survivors Thursday at the fifth annual Couture…
NEWBURYPORT – With this being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, community members will celebrate survivors Thursday at the fifth annual Couture for a Cure Marketplace and Fashion Show to benefit the Gerrish Breast Care Center at Anna Jaques Hospital.
The show, from 11 am 2 pm at the Blue Ocean Event Center in Salisbury, is sponsored by the hospital and the Institution for Savings. Tickets are $ 50 each with all proceeds going directly to Gerrish, which celebrates its fifth anniversary in conjunction with the event.
“Number one, the event celebrates survivorship,” said Mary Williamson, Vice President of Development at Anna Jaques. “We are really holding up as examples of courage and fortitude those women who were among the first who received care at the Gerrish Breast Care Center.”
Mary Anne Clancy, vice president of communications at the Department of Savings, said the bank has been a longtime supporter of Anna Jaques. The Institution for Savings donated funds for the new single-patient ward for several years ago and also gave money to purchase a 3-D mammography machine vital in detecting early signs of breast cancer, she said.
North of Boston Media Group Regional Publisher Karen Andreas will serve as a master of ceremony for the event, which will begin with a “Look Good Feel Good Marketplace.” Local shops, salons and shops will display their products and services and offer samples, merchandise and discount coupons, Clancy said. 1
9659002] After lunch, guests will be treated to a fashion show of the latest fall styles from local stores, including J. McLaughlin, The Elephant’s Trunk, Bobbles & Lace, Meraki, Dani Kaye, Smitten and Farley’s of Newburyport.
The models include cancer survivors as well as local heroes, Clancy said. Some of the models are also women who have been recently diagnosed, including Newburyport School Resource Officer Megan Tierney.
In March , Tierney, 33, was diagnosed with Stage 2 triple negative invasive ductile breast cancer. She will walk on the runway alongside Newburyport Police Marshal Mark Murray.
Other models include Dr. Peter Hartmann, the medical director at the Gerrish Breast Care Center. He will walk the runway with Lucy, one of the hospital’s therapy dogs, and Dana Marshall of The River radio station, who is also a breast cancer survivor.
Although the marketplace is in its fifth year, this is the first time a fashion show is part of the event, Clancy said. The concept is that looking one’s best often brings the benefits of empowerment and self-confidence. For patients battling cancer, however, it is even more therapeutic and can be a lifesaving, critical component of treatment, she added.
Five years ago, Clancy said the Institution for Savings reached out to Anna Jaques to collaborate on a Chamber of Commerce breakfast recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
That event also coincided with the launch of the Gerrish Breast Care Center. Over the last few years, the breakfast evolved into a luncheon and auction.
“If we all know, cancer knows no boundaries,” said Michael J. Jones, president and CEO of the Institution for Savings. “We have had too many of our employees and their family members to fight cancer over the years and realize that celebrating their successes at the end of the treatment road is so important.”
Williamson said the proceeds will benefit the breast cancer center and its programs, specifically The Comfort Fund, which provides assistance to breast cancer patients undergoing treatment. The fund supports patients in various ways, including providing transportation to treatment, having delivered groceries, having laundry done, or supplying a special item during treatment, she said.
“Going into it, you can not anticipate how this can derail your family life flow, “she said.” People do not have the energy to do the most normal things. This fund helps to take care of those incidental expenses. They are real difference makers in the quality of life a patient might need. “
In addition, Jeannette Cattan, a breast cancer survivor and one of the models, created the” Look Good, Feel Better “program and a wig bank at the Anna Jaques Cancer Center to help patients cope with appearance-related side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, Williamson said.
“It’s a dream of her to have a display case for the program in the breast care center,” she added. . “Det har en cost associated with it for a display case and we’re trying to realize that dream for her.”
Sponsorship and table vendor spots are available. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Anna Jaques Hospital website, www.ajh.org or contact Clancy at 978-225-1324 or Kelley Sullivan, manager of marketing and community relations at AJH, at 978-463-1475.  Staff writer Amanda Getchell covers Newburyport and Seabrook. Follow here on Twitter @ajgetch.