Fashion

Emily's Style Notes: Fundraising For Ovarian Cancer Through Fashion & Comedy

The second annual Love Her raises $240,000 in support of Ovarian Cancer Canada

In her new weekly column, Emily Ramshaw, Assistant Fashion News Editor, starts a conversation inspired by the insiders and newsmakers shaping the fashion world now. Check back every Tuesday for her latest report.

Judith & Charles fashion show

Judith & Charles fashion show

Last Thursday night, February 28th, I had the privilege of attending Toronto’s Love Her, now in its sophomore year, which raises money in support of Ovarian Cancer Canada. It was, as it promised to be in the invitation, an evening of fashion, comedy and music. As well, it was an evening—also promised—devoted to bringing the dangers of ovarian cancer to our attention to show how much the foundation deserves our fundraising efforts.

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It was heartwarming to applaud a 27-year-old woman who had beat the disease, but devastating to hear that many, many more had succumbed. Frighteningly, there is no effective screening test, meaning that early detection is rare, which in turn results in a hopelessly high fatality rate when the cancer is discovered too late. Ovarian Cancer Canada is funding research that is working towards an early detection test, which would lead to significantly higher survival rates. This is what I learned.

Assistant Fashion News Editor Emily Ramshaw at the event

Assistant Fashion News Editor Emily Ramshaw at the event

And fundraise they did. In a single evening the organization raised $240,000 with more to come at the Calgary event this Thursday, March 7. With a silent and live auction, as well as entertainment in the form of a Judith & Charles fashion show and violinist Sophie Serafino, not to mention the comedic stylings of MC Jessica Holmes (and her alter-egos Celine Dion and Liza Minnelli), the night was nothing if not exuberant on all sides.

Jessica Holmes as Liza Minnelli

Jessica Holmes as Liza Minnelli

My highlight? One of the live auction items was a private dinner prepared by a chef and served by Toronto’s finest firefighters. Just our luck that a dozen fire-fighting men were on hand to sell raffle tickets and quickly bounded on stage, stripping off their shirts for the highest bidder. (It was the stuff of Sex and the City–Samantha Jones fantasies.) Suffice it to say, the item was the second highest of the night, going for $5000 and bested only by an all-out shopping spree at Bayview Village for $5,100.

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Holmes, this time doing her best Geri Halliwell—yes, Ginger Spice—summed up the evening best by calling her work “attractivism,” concluding that it was more than okay to be both frivolous and serious. In fact, these two seeming opposites often go together perfectly.