Binghamton University students struck poses to strike back against breast cancer at the sixth annual Fashion for a Cure.
The fashion show raised $5,173 for Sharsheret, a nonprofit organization that promotes awareness and offers support to women battling breast cancer. The foundation focuses on Jewish women of Ashkenazi (German/Eastern European) descent, who have a heightened risk of hereditary breast cancer. Chabad and sororities Sigma Delta Tau and Eta Zeta sponsored the fashion show, in participation with the Fashion Club, according to the pamphlet.
The theme of the show was “seasons of the year,” and featured various women walking the runway in outfits representing different months of the year. A cappella group Harpur Harpeggios performed for an audience of close to 400 at the Chabad Center, in addition to monologues about cancer from the Sharsheret website and speeches by members of the community who have had personal experiences with breast cancer.
Donning outfits from their own wardrobe, 24 students walked in the show, two representing each month, as hosts commented on the attire.
This year’s Fashion for a Cure hosted members of the local community, including volunteer speakers who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Sandra Paston, a resident of Binghamton who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, said her experience at the event was a good one.
“I’m glad to see so many young women here,” Paston said. “They really need to be aware of breast cancer and just understand that it doesn’t have to be really scary.”
Rivkah Slonim, education director at the Chabad Center and one of the event organizers, said that in addition to camaraderie and bonding, the night was also about raising awareness.
“It’s a very important issue that could potentially affect anyone in this room,” Slonim said. “They need to understand more about this issue that could affect their lives.”
According to Elyse Aufrichtig, a member of Sigma Delta Tau, besides raising money for Sharsheret, Fashion for a Cure also affects the mindset of the student body at BU.
“I thought they did a great job for a great cause,” said Aufrichtig, a freshman majoring in marketing. “I think on campus it’s just encouraging people to be more aware of their bodies, and to also help people know what’s out there.”
“So many people come for this,” said Kira Busman, one of the evening’s hosts and a senior double-majoring in history and human development. “For females it really unites us; different sororities, different walks of life, people who aren’t even involved in clubs are here. That’s amazing.”
Students like Arianne Storch, an undeclared sophomore, said that Chabad and Sharsheret were the main incentives for coming.
“I’m a big fan of Chabad,” Storch said. “Sharsheret is a really important organization, I wanted to come out and support them.”
Taylor Gudowitz, one of the event organizers, said that the main goals of the event were to raise awareness and allow students who may have been affected by breast cancer to come together and learn more about the disease.
“Sharsheret is huge on support systems for the community,” Gudowitz said. “We’re all affected by this so we can all relate to this on some level.”