“In it to End it!” was the chorus that rang off the walls of the Windham High School Auditorium.
Every May, the AVON Walk for Breast Cancer fills the streets of Boston and its surrounding neighborhoods. Women (and men!) of all ages, races and creeds join together in memory, friendship, love and celebration to raise funds in support of cancer research; helping to ensure adequate care and support for those affected by Breast Cancer.
Our lives are filled with so many different experiences from one day to the next. Experiences that call for rejoicing and some that lead to tears. Some where new friends are made, and others that only the love of an old friend can make complete. Sometimes, we experience challenges or support others as they fight to win a battle that is daunting at its best and seemingly impossible at its worst. It is during these experiences that we begin to see ourselves for who we are, what it means to not only BE STRONG but to be OF STRENGTH.
Last Sunday, Team BellaDonna, a dynamic and beautiful group of women, made up of both survivors and friends, hosted a charity fashion show that supports and honors those affected by Breast Cancer. They were joined in their efforts by many local Windham, NH Businesses, featuring local business sponsorship and “celebrity” models, and the Windham High School S.M.I.L.E.S (Spreading Meaningful Irreplaceable Life Experiences Selflessly) Community Service Club. All of which were fundamental in putting together this fantastic event!
Overwhelming barely begins to describe the experience of what happens when a community shares in the support of a cause. It was an honor to witness, participate and document this tremendous effort from an incredible group of local area businesses, amazing teenagers and an EXTRAORDINARY team of brave women!
The show began with many of the students, children, local celebrities, and the BellaDonna Team Members getting their hair, and make-up done by the fantastic stylists and makeup artists from Artistic Creations of Windham, NH and Salon Bogar of Londonderry, NH.
In the lobby, live entertainment was provided by the Windham High School Jazz Ensemble.
These are some seriously talented musicians!
Inside the theater, the show began with the girls of the Windham High School Dance Club bounding down the aisles and across the sides of the theater, setting the stage with a high energy mix for the upcoming main event!
The next series of images showcase models of all ages featuring the styles and fashions by:
Flowers were provided by Ford Flower Company.
It was so much fun watching every one bring a little bit of themselves into their walk.
What an amazing group of strong, courageous personalities from the little ones to the adults!
After the youngest models introduced the spring and summer fashions, the Londonderry Dance Academy performed “Pure Spirit”, a moving contemporary dance filled with elegance and grace.
Intermission provided the perfect opportunity to snap some images of the excited crowd and the rocking women running the raffle by some fantastic area businesses. Check out some of the awesome prizes below from:
Shabby Chic – A Sweets Boutique (believe me, these are some of the most amazing cup cakes ever!)
Bella Vino – A Wine Cellar featuring Specialty Wines and Gourmet Delights
Here is where I have to pause. Every single one of my raffles tickets went into the Bella Vino basket. As a friend watched, she decided to match every ticket I entered with one of her own! Lucky for her, she won the basket! Lucky for me, she shared in the delights!
There were some wonderful women selling products where the proceeds went directly to Team BellaDonna’s fundraising efforts to benefit the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. These women were from:
Don’t forget your Pink Bling! These charming Chamilia bracelets can be purchased from Crown Jewelers!
Finally, my personal favorite clothing boutique, Fringe. For the record it is not my favorite just because of the leopard wrap! Although fabulous, you will have to go and see for yourself. I mean, where else locally can you find so many fabulous designer jeans?!?!
I love that wrap! Look how it flows!
At the show many of the women could be seen sporting these Fields of Hope T-shirts. Fields of Hope Art Wear is designed to symbolize Hope , Support, and Recovery for those impacted by breast cancer.
Below is one of my favorite moments from the fashion show! Showcased along with more traditional prom fashions, these two stunning ladies owned the runway in their creations. Known as the “Duct Tape Divas”, these ladies sashayed in dresses created entirely out of… you guessed it… Duct Tape! Absolutely Fabulous, ladies!
There is some serious talent in the Windham High School Art Club!
If you are as inspired as I am by these women, there are several ways to lend your support.
To sponsor Team BellaDonna’s Avon Breast Cancer Foundation fundraising,
visit www.avonwalk.org, and enter Team BellaDonna.
To lend your support during the walk, don’t be afraid to dress up in your favorite pink outfit, boa or Tu-Tu, carrying a banner or loudest noise maker to cheer these ladies on! Trust me, as you are encroaching on 20 miles, 5 hours of constant walking, heavy legs and blistered feet, every roar of support is music sent from the heavens!
To learn more about the walk and the route, visit the Boston AVON Walk for Breast Cancer event page.
All images from the Styles & S.M.I.L.E.S event are posted in an online gallery for all to visit. To view the gallery follow this link, Styles & S.M.I.L.E.S Charity Fashion Show. All proceeds from the purchase of event prints or image downloads will go directly to Team BellaDonna and their fundraising efforts!
Or, you could leave a comment below to show your love and support for these amazing women!
A very special Thank You to Donna Bramante InDelicato for all her work in coordinating this event!
And to Joe Mancinelli and Matt Bryant for the guidance and powerful space they create for the lives of the students in S.M.I.L.E.S!
These women are In It to End IT!!
To the women who ARE Team BellaDonna:
Donna Bramante InDelicato
and, Donna O’Dell
No words can express the gratitude and honor it is to support you in your efforts to find the cure!
Fotique will be with you every step of the way!!