Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Under the Big Top: Children's Cancer Fund Luncheon & Fashion Show 2012

The 24th Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show benefiting Children’s Cancer Fund was held at the Hilton Anatole on May 2, 2012.  "Cancer.  It is a word that can change your life in an instant," said Co-Chair Keyea Webster.  Many in the audience could relate to that statement.   Webster, along with fellow Co-Chair Lori Buschel, introduced the day's event and rallied the troops to "dig deep" for the cause.

The fashion show, produced by Rhonda Sargent Chambers, featured children undergoing treatment for cancer at Children’s Medical Center Dallas escorted down the runway by sponsors and celebrity guests such as Demarcus Ware, Mike Modano, the Dallas SWAT Team, Pat Smith, Scott Murray, Rudy Gatlin, Olympic medalist Mitch Gaylord and many more. The show was packed with energy and smiles, and these children really captured your heart.

Troy Aikman, Cynthia Smoot and Roger Staubach. Photo courtesy of Elite Appliance.

Honorary Co-Chairs, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, were gracious hosts, posing for photos and signing endless sports memorabilia. I was kicking myself that it hadn't occurred to me to bring something to get signed for my son. Oh well, there's always next year!  Dr. Steven Skapek spoke on behalf of the doctors, nurses and other providers who treat cancer at Children's Medical Center and said their dedication, along with the support of the Children's Cancer Fund, has helped cure more than two-thirds of children with cancer today. However, the work is far from complete, he said.  Clarice Tinsley and Steve Eagar from Fox 4 News did a fantastic job of emceeing the event.  The grand celebrity finale walk was Tony Romo and Jason Whitten who were met with cheers from the audience.

(top left) Mike Modano and Matt Nordgren  (top right) Clarice Tinsley, Steve Eager and children
(bottom left) Country music legend Rudy Gatlin with patient (bottom right) Shirin Askari with Megan Saustad

Founded 30 years ago by a group of local parents whose children were being treated for cancer at Children's Medical Center, Children's Cancer Fund has become one of the nation's leading fundraising groups in support of local research for the treatment and prevention of childhood cancers. Among the programs supported by the fund are the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program at Children's Medical Center and the Children's Cancer Fund Comprehensive Center for Research in Pediatric Oncology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, which is gaining a national reputation for its work in eradicating childhood cancers. In 2002, the fund initiated funding for a full-time Child Life Assistant at Children's Medical Center's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders to help better serve its outpatient clients.