By: Jen Russon
At first glance, the poster for this year’s highly anticipated Not My Daughter…Find a Cure Now event in October, looks like Halloween fun is in order.
The popular fundraising event remains “think pink”, however, it has been given a bit of Broadway flare, thanks to the song Defying Gravity from the play Wicked.
“We thought in light of what our community had gone through, and our constant fight to end breast cancer, defying gravity was very fitting,” said Denyse Hostig, Founder and Chairwoman of Not My Daughter.
Hostig, a registered nurse and breast cancer survivor, lives in Parkland with husband Craig, a cardiologist, and their children who attend or have graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Her daughter, Avery, is currently studying to become a nurse at the University of Florida.
Daughters, naturally, are encouraged to attend Defying Gravity this fall. In prior years, daughters of committed Not My Daughter members, attended as volunteers. A new crop of young women, recruited and trained in high school to raise breast cancer awareness, will volunteer at this year’s annual fundraiser.
The group is large; its message loud and clear, and you don’t have to be a survivor of breast cancer to hear it.
“As the founding member, I was the sole survivor in the committee for the first few years. As we grew, our committee of survivors grew too. We have about six now,” Hostig said, adding that the group has gotten so big it would be difficult to list them all.
A near decade of fundraising speaks for them. High profile sponsorships from all over Broward County will present this year’s signature fundraiser. Held every October during nationally recognized Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the event lead to a partnership with the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Last year, construction began on a boutique that offers, at the UHealth Plantation campus, auxiliary services for breast cancer patients and survivors. The first Not My Daughter Healing Center will provide resources like prosthetics, wigs, exercise, nutrition, counseling, education and childcare during treatment and recovery.
So how many tickets do you have to sell to reach a goal like that?
“We never set a fiscal goal. While raising funds is a huge part of what we do, equally important is raising awareness which can’t be quantified. All money raised goes to research and the funding of the boutique,” Hostig said, ecstatic to report the boutique is set to open this October.
Hostig added that this signature event is an opportunity for the Parkland and Coral Springs communities to come together in a fun way and help make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.
Her words remind a bit of a lyric from Defying Gravity:
“Dreams the way we planned em’…..If we work in tandem.”
The fundraiser takes place Monday, October 29 with the shopping event beginning at 10 a.m., followed by a luncheon at noon at the Heron Bay Marriott in Coral Springs. Tickets are available here, and must be purchased by October 22.
Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.