Strut for a Cause: Benefit for Elly Mayday and Ovarian Cancer

*The story of "Strut for a Cause" to benefit Elly MayDay and Ovarian Cancer was originally posted on Jan 20, 2014.  Since we've been sharing the history of our dresses, this addendum to the Elly dress is an important part of the story. Elly had a message for all of us women: to be aware of our #ladyballs, the Silent killer "Ovarian Cancer" and the symptoms to look for. 

It was truly a surprise! In several short weeks, Katherine Dockrill (Helly Hepburn), Nadine Eberts (Rain Hair Salon) and Jen Kaboom (Jen Kaboom Designs) planned a spectacular event for their close friend Elly Mayday. #strutforacause was both a fashion show and fundraiser to benefit Elly and Ovarian Cancer. A unique event space, the Arthur Erickson designed "Waterfall Building" was chosen. Then the mad dash began to line up models, sponsors and volunteers. So many people helped put this event together, and everyone involved deserves a thank-you, but my purpose here is to tell you the story of this special surprise for Elly.

To get Elly 'party ready', what better than to plan a photo shoot? Gal pals Shimona Henry (Pin-up Perfection Photography) and Stela Licina (model and make-up ninja) whisked her out to a studio in White Rock, did her hair and make-up and spent the day shooting. Elly had graciously agreed to take a few photos for me on this last day of shooting before her scheduled surgery. So we quickly sewed up a new Cherry Velvet wingbust dress design with a full skirt, and named it the 'Elly', with the hope that she would wear it to the party. We kept our fingers crossed that we'd gotten the size right (as Elly has lost 45 pounds) but we did. From our size large at the start of her modeling career about a year ago, she's now a size XS in our dresses.

With a ruse to pick up Nadine at Rain Hair Salon (adjacent to the Waterfall building), they got Elly all the way to the door without her really suspecting what was planned. With a full house including family, friends, photographers and press, the look on her face was both touching and priceless.

Elly Mayday                       Elly Mayday and Nadine Eberts (photo credit to Brian Perkins)

There was a total of 5 segments of fashion shows, including ours, with a huge line up of models all donating their time to the show. I'd like to thank all the amazing models who enthusiastically strutted their stuff down the runway. We're in the process of producing a video of the show which we'll share asap! But I'd like to personally thank all the girls that represented Cherry Velvet:

Jihan AmerJihan Amir (Wilhelmina Models) in 'Brigitte Shutterbug" Patrick Rooney Photography 

Charlotte Doering       Charlotte Curve Model in Brigitte "Turquoise Orchard" Patrick Rooney  Photography

Lexi WhiteWall    Sarah Lexi Lafontaine (Lexi Whitewall) in Elizabeth "Floral Bouquet" photo by Zemekiss

Chrissy Barham                  Christine Barham (Chrissy Noir) in Trudy "Chatroom" photo by                               Zemekiss

Nadine Eberts   Nadine Eberts (Rain Hair Salon) in Trudy "Cherry Blossom" photo by                    Zemekiss

Tracy Cake wearing Cherry VelvetTracy Cake (Tracy Cake Make-up and More) in Brigitte "Anime Flowers" photo by Zemekiss

Chery Velvet Brigitte Dress
Leah (MissLuscious Ness) in Brigitte "Rosy Dots" photo by Zemekiss

Elly MayDay wearing the Cherry Velvet Elly Dress
and of course Elly Mayday in the Elly Dress in "Black Damask" photo by Zemekiss

Elly MayDay wearing the Cherry Velvet Elly Dress
Elly took her turn walking down the runway in her new "Elly" dress.  Patrick Rooney Photography

Elly's story and legacy is meant to be shared. She brought awareness to Ovarian Cancer and through her advocacy; Elly helped many, many women who struggled with this silent killer.

XOX Cherry Velvet

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