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Friday, Jun 8, 2018

Ballad Health’s Wine Women & Shoes event raises $159,000 to enhance breast cancer screening programs

Wine Women & Shoes, hosted by Ballad Health Foundation, raised more than $159,000 to increase access to and affordability of breast cancer screenings in the region.

Nearly 800 local women will receive assistance through proceeds from this fourth annual event, held at the Virginian Golf Club. Wine Women & Shoes gives underserved women the ability to receive lifesaving exams and screenings, such as 3-D mammograms, breast MRI tests and genetic analyses and counseling.

“It’s no secret – early detection for breast cancer saves lives,” said Clay Rolston, executive director of Ballad Health Foundation. “But for far too many women in our region, the cost of these screenings can delay a diagnosis until the cancer reaches an advanced stage or spreads, when it’s more difficult to treat.

“The generosity of everyone at Wine Women & Shoes has made it possible for more women in our region – who might have otherwise remained undiagnosed until it was too late – to fight breast cancer and win.”

Wine Women & Shoes drew nearly 300 attendees and included silent and live auctions and exclusive shopping at the event’s marketplace, which showcased vendors of women’s clothing and accessories.

To highlight the special nature of this event, keynote speaker Katy Sikorski, a breast cancer survivor and Ballad Health patient, shared the story of her breast cancer journey and recovery. Plus, breast cancer survivors Stephanie Brown, Amy Brunty, Diane Caldwell, April Dotson, Sarah Fuller, Anita Greene, Jennifer Hurt, Miranda Mingle, Marlene Mitchell, Vicki Reeser, Trish Reed, Colleen Semonesc, Jana Tritt, Heather Tranberger and Amy Williams served as models for the fashion show.

Even though the majority of Wine Women & Shoes ticket holders and participants were women, a group of men from the community also made their mark on the event. These volunteers, called Shoe Guys, assisted women with wine pairings, shopping options and raffle ticket sales. They also raised money in the weeks leading up to the event in a fundraising competition to see who would be named King of Sole.

The winner was David Woodmansee, assistant general counsel for Eastman Chemical Company, who raised $3,200. Together, the Shoe Guys raised more than $11,000 for the cause.

Money was also raised through raffle drawings for a Golden Ticket trip to Napa Valley, a Wall of Wine for top-dollar bottles and a Buy-a-Square contest for a Kate Spade purse. Wine Women & Shoes also featured live auctions for vacation trips to exotic locations, such as Belize, Scotland, Mexico and several others, as well as silent auctions for an array of gifts.  

Attendees left the event with their purchases, along with swag bags and a special photo keepsake in the style of a magazine cover. The event also provided an opportunity for women to participate in a Best in Shoes contest in the categories of sassy stilettos, fabulous flats, wonderful wedges and bodacious boots, with $100 Zappos gift cards awarded to each category winner.

The presenting sponsor for Wine Women & Shoes was Alpha Natural Resources. Gold stiletto sponsors were Bill Gatton Automotive, Blue Ridge Radiology, BurWil Construction, Epic, Impact Advisors, Impact Plastics Corporation, Kil’in Time, Path Group, Rick Hill BMW, VIPSEEN and WCYB.

“This was another exceptional event because of the commitment from the community, our sponsors and our Shoe Guys,” Rolston said. “Their philanthropy will have a significant effect on local women’s lives and allow Ballad Health to enhance the quality of care for our region. We are extremely grateful for the response to Wine Women & Shoes, and we look forward to hosting more top-quality events as Ballad Health Foundation.”

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