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A Fabulous Fundraiser: Fashion show raises money for Lee Health's Cancer Institute

"Everyone can relate to someone with cancer. So when you go and say, hey, we want to raise money in a fun way, showing fashion... giving back to the community... people just show up," she said.
Posted at 6:36 PM, Mar 12, 2024

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Cancer patients and others in remission took the stage at Lee Health Foundation's annual fashion show March 12.

Deb Wilson is the vice president of operations at the Lee Health Cancer Institute.

"We look forward to seeing their new fashions every year," Wilson said.

It's not just about the fashion or the baskets.

"Everyone can relate to someone with cancer. So when you go and say, hey, we want to raise money in a fun way, showing fashion... giving back to the community... people just show up," she said.

Many of these beautiful models have an even more important role than showing off the dresses. They are serving as an encouragement to those also fighting cancer.

"They're not that label, oh, you're a cancer survivor, not today, you're a fashion model today. That brings all the energy you can imagine," she said.

All the money raised here will go toward helping people in our community who are undergoing cancer treatment.

Patricia Chlipala is the director of development for the Lee Health Foundation.

"When you're going through a double mastectomy, as I know myself, it's a brutal operation. Your skin, your hair, the radiation burns it and you want to feel beautiful. So we try to make everybody, no matter who they are, feel beautiful," she said.

Last year the fashion show raised more than $47,000.