DALLAS, TEXAS – Texarkana resident Corie Lavender, 6, is a featured model and artist at The Children’s Cancer Fund Annual Gala, a NYC-themed “Broadway Nights and Runway Lights” event – the nonprofit’s 29th annual fundraiser for pediatric oncology research and treatment programs.
The Gala features live and silent auctions, a children’s fashion show, dinner, drinks and dancing to musical entertainment by DJ Lucy Wrubel. It will be held on Friday, April 21, 2017, at 6 p.m. (champagne reception), 7:15 (dinner and program), at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, 2201 N. Stemmons Freeway. A fashion show presented by Dillard’s and produced by RSC Show Productions will feature children who are undergoing treatment for cancer at Children’s Health in Dallas. The children, “models” for the fashion show, are escorted down the runway by Honorary Event Chairmen Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, along with many other celebrities and sponsors. Gala event Chair Pamela Moayedi, will kick off the program with Aikman and Staubach, who will turn it over to CBS11 News Anchor Karen Borta, mistress of ceremonies.
Proceeds from the Gala, slated to raise more than $1 million, go to Children’s Cancer Fund to support pediatric cancer research and treatment programs at Children’s Medical Center. Since 1982, Children’s Cancer Fund has donated almost $8 million to the cause. The Children’s Cancer Fund spring event is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser for pediatric cancer, hosting over 1,000 guests from North Texas and across the nation.
Diagnosed with Stage I Neurofibromitosis at the age of 4, Corie Lavender, 6, is a kindergartner at Liberty-Elyau Primary School. She has three sisters, a kitten named Elsa, and a dog named Bruno and is the happiest when people tell her they love her. Her favorite subject in school is math, and when she grows up, she wants to be a star, like a famous singer – in fact, she’s her own favorite singer! Her hobbies include cooking, coloring with markers, and making stuff with glue. She also likes to play with her sisters and do karate. If she could go anywhere, she would go camping because she loves to be outside! Her heroes are Ladybug and Cat Noir from the animated series “Tales of Lady Bug and Cat Noir” because “they get rid of bad stuff.”
“I’m so excited to model in the fashion show because my family will see me all dressed up in my new clothes,” said Corie Lavender. “And I’ll get to smile and wave at them from the stage.”
Children’s Cancer Fund brings together local celebrities, dignitaries, philanthropists, sponsors, and media personalities to serve as runway escorts for these young patients modeling in the fashion show. Honorary Event Chairs Aikman and Staubach have been involved for many years: Aikman for 20 and Staubach since the event’s inception 29 years ago. Additional celebrity escorts include current Dallas Cowboys players, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Station #19 Dallas Fire Dept., Dallas SWAT, Julie Dobbs-Fox Sports Southwest Dallas Stars Commentator, Alisha Laventure-WFAA, Jane McGarry-WFAA, Scott Murray, Mrs. Texas America Sissy Hester, the Pink Heals Firefighters, and Amy Vanderoef.
In addition to DJ Lucy Wrubel, entertainment throughout the event will be provided by the Jordan Kahn Orchestra, Next Step Dance, Avery-Jai Andrews, and Jacoby Pruitt.
“When I was diagnosed with a tumor in 2009 at UT Southwestern, I was terrified about what would happen next. Thankfully my tumor was benign, but my fear was real,” said Gala Chair Pamela Moayedi. “My experience has made me so much more passionate about helping children in that kind of situation. I’m committed to supporting local research that saves lives, especially young kids.”
Individual tickets are $300 or $2,750 for a table of 10. Contact Children’s Cancer Fund at 972-664-1450 or visit www.ChildrensCancerFund.com/Gala for reservations and more information.
The finale of the show each year is a special time for all the children, both those currently battling cancer and young cancer survivors. As they join together on stage, they will be introduced by the evening’s special entertainment, DJ Lucy Wrubel.
“You have to see the look on these kids’ faces as they walk down the runway. It’s what inspires us in our work and in everything we do,” said Jennifer Arthur, CCF Executive Director of Development. “They are fighters and survivors every day, but on that night, they’re stars and they’re shining brightly for their families, for the audience, and for each other.”