Dazzling record: Fundraiser tops $74K

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, April 20, 2019
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Record Year

RECORD YEAR – Amanda Williams (left) looks on as Colleen Walker expresses delight at this year’s fundraising amount of $74,008 at Wise Health Foundation’s Dazzle Me Pink. Messenger photo by Joy Burgess-Carrico

Wise Health Foundation’s Dazzle Me Pink set a fundraising record Wednesday afternoon, raising $74,008 for Mary’s Gift, which provides free mammograms for those who can’t otherwise afford them.

A sold-out crowd celebrated the 10th anniversary of the annual fundraiser, which has now raised more than $500,000.

Foundation Director Linda Johnson said every year the total is a surprise.

Fun and Fashion 1

FUN AND FASHION – This year the event sold raffle tickets for mystery boxes that were held by cancer survivors and opened at the same time. Messenger photo by Joy Burgess-Carrico

“Every year I pray about it and just ask the good Lord to provide,” she said. “Our mission is to provide those services for the underserved. I don’t go in with any expectations, and I’m always grateful for any result we receive.

During the fashion show, Callie Manning models clothes from NRS. Messenger photo by Joy Burgess-Carrico

“Wise County is such a generous community; it’s amazing to live in a community like this,” she said. “It feels great knowing that those dollars went to provide mammography services and to purchase equipment for the hospital.”

Late last year a 3-D mammography machine was purchased thanks to previous fundraising. It’s already been used to perform 1,800 mammograms.

The machine provides a set of images, showing breast tissue in thin layers. The 3-D imaging helps reduce shadows, which allows medical professionals to see all sides of the tissue and make a quicker diagnosis.

The generosity of donors has also provided for 470 mammograms in the last two years for women who otherwise could not afford to have one done.

Johnson said that’s the most rewarding part of fundraising for Mary’s Gift, knowing there are individuals behind the gift, people whose lives have been changed with a free mammogram.

A new element to this year’s luncheon and fashion show was a mystery box raffle. Held in place of a live auction, tickets were sold for $20 each and from those, 10 tickets were drawn. Those ticket holders chose a wrapped box, each of which contained a valuable prize. After everyone had selected their gift, they opened them at the same time to discover what they won. Gifts included items such as Vera Bradley luggage and designer purses, watches and shoes. The largest prizes were two diamond necklaces donated by Chalet of Jewelry in Decatur and Read’s Jewelers in Fort Worth.

About a dozen local boutiques were represented on the runway, showcasing fashions available in Wise County, and numerous generous donations were made in raffle items.

“This really is a community event, not just the foundation,” Johnson said. “We had more than 23 volunteers who helped in one way or another. The community, Wise Health System employees, the foundation board and planning committee … I can’t thank them enough.

“We had an awesome team.”

Fun and Fashion Connie

Connie Swain shows off the latest fashions from Red Rooster in Alvord. Messenger photo by Joy Burgess-Carrico

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