the third annual stuart weitzman fashion show & luncheon
April 4, 2008
The Westin Waltham-Boston
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Friday, April 4, 2008, marked the Third Annual Stuart Weitzman Fashion Show and Luncheon, held at the Westin Waltham Hotel, in Waltham, Mass. Hosted by Ovations for the Cure of Ovarian Cancer and illustrious designer Stuart Weitzman, the fashion show helped fund research for ovarian cancer and raise awareness of the disease. This flagship event, which historically raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for ovarian cancer research, once again had fantastic turnout.
The theme, Happy Feet, was evident throughout the event. Happy Feet is a program jointly sponsored by Ovations for the Cure of Ovarian Cancer and Stuart Weitzman that gifts a pair of Swarovski crystal-studded slippers, exclusively designed for Ovations by Stuart Weitzman, to ovarian cancer patients. The shoes provide a source of comfort and joy during a patient’s treatment, putting “a lift in their step”. Centerpieces were designed around a pair of the special shoes.
Guests were treated to an exquisite champagne reception, during which guests could play any of a number of games that offered fabulous prize packages. Combined prize values totaled over $40,000 and included trips to Ireland, Paris and Bermuda, as well as decadent spa packages, weekend getaways, New England Patriots tickets, Boston Celtics tickets, golf packages, designer handbags and more!
Once inside the ballroom, the show kicked off with a tap dance featuring dancers from the Franklin School of Performing Arts. Their “Happy Feet” number got everyone into the swing of things. Show emcee Rita Verreos, of CBS’ reality show Survivor: Figi fame, welcomed guests, discussed the importance of ovarian cancer research and early detection and entertained the audience with her own special Survivor humor.
Dr. Marsha Moses, Director of the Ovations for the Cure of Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Research Fund at Children’s Hospital, and Professor in the Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and the Vascular Biology Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, explained to the audience the strides her team is making in detecting urine biomarkers that will lead to early detection for ovarian cancer.
Following a delectable lunch that included cider-poached salmon and a chocolate mousse with fresh raspberry dessert, Ovations for the Cure of Ovarian Cancer Executive Director Debbie Soprano educated the audience on the organization’s accomplishments over the last year, including the numerous research funds that Ovations has created and funded at leading medical facilities across the country.
Patty Franchi Flaherty, Ovations for the Cure of Ovarian Cancer founder and 9-year ovarian cancer survivor, left her hospital bed to attend the event. She spoke of her experience with ovarian cancer and the circle of family and friends that have been her support since her diagnosis in 1999. Both eloquent and moving, Patty’s speech elicited wild applause and a standing ovation.
Lois Hearn, Ovations Ambassador and lifelong friend of Franchi Flaherty, appealed to the audience to help fund ovarian cancer research, raising an additional $18,000 through her efforts.
The highlight of the day, the Fashion Show, was co-narrated by Stuart Weitzman VP Jane Weitzman and CBS arts & entertainment anchor Joyce Kulhawik. Models provided by John Casablancas of Newton and styled by Angelique O’Neil strutted the runway in fun, eye-catching shoes and handbags, with each style more appealing than the last.