The audience was welcomed by host Dr Subhas Gupta who is the Chairman of Plastic Surgery at Loma Linda after a silent auction featuring skin care, restaurant, and resort items. He discussed how his organization's Pink Runway is committed to actively promoting breast cancer awareness and to raising the quality of life for every survivor. “We want all survivors, regardless of their circumstances, to live better... Our mission is to provide practical insights via our research, into who is NOT getting the breast cancer screening and breast reconstruction awareness messages”, he said. He discussed the decreasing death rate from breast cancer for younger women and how this was related in part to increased awareness of screening options for patients. He further stated that, “Only 17% of the eligible breast cancer patients are ever offered a consultation to learn about their reconstructive options.”. He told the enthusiastic crowd of supporters that this year's theme is breast reconstruction literacy. “We've seen that the complexity of information our patients receive in our very own offices is difficult to comprehend. We will use tonight's proceeds to begin to develop new, easier to understand information on breast reconstruction options.” He invited everyone in the audience to join the “Pink Runway community” http://www.facebook.com/
Gupta was followed by Beth Gilbert, a chaplain at Loma Linda University Medical Center who delivered an opening prayer with a message about making patients whole. This message was echoed by Dr Michael Hill, director of breast reconstruction surgery. He and his cinematographer son, Jonathan Hill, presented a Survivor's video that was one of the highlights of the event set to freshly composed music from one of the model's family.
The entertainment program came next introduced by MC Tina Sugandh, a Billboard recording artist and more recently of reality TV fame. She quizzed the audience on messages of awareness regarding mammograms, and breast exams while introducing a performers from Victoria's Simply Dancing featuring the talented young duo of Jasmine Garza and Makenna Irish who dedicated their dance set to the song “Arms” to the families of survivors. Next was a unique twist on stress relief presented by Daniel Head of the Yoga Room in Redlands, California. He led the audience through a Yoga exercise designed to calm the soul and focus on positive energy.
Performing on the Pink Runway for her third time, , Tina Sugandh sang an emotional “Snake Charmer” song about fighting cancer. She then had the entire audience involved for her new single named for the “Pink Runway”. Tina had the audience singing and cheering with her as she paid tribute to all of the survivors. After her performance, a series of awards were presented including an award for Breast Reconstruction Avocacy to Dr Michael Hill, a Pink Runway Leadership award to Executive Director Cherl Tidwell, and the second annual Geeta Sugandh Sunshine Award to honor an individual who best exemplified the qualities of positivity, sunshine, and radiance in the fight against breast cancer. The award is named for the mother of MC Tina Sugandh and her sister Seema Sugandh-Gupta. They selected patient, model, and ambassador Harriette Parker as the 2012 recipient.
The night had its crescendo with the fashion show as the models all rocked the runway on their special night. They had been pampered all day with complete makeovers by numerous beauty professionals who had converged at the Riverside Auditorium. Stylists from Salon Shags and makeup artists from the Makeup Bar volunteered their efforts in support of the models. Other corporate sponsors and partners of the event included Allergan Facial Aesthetics, Mentor, Natrelle, LifeCell, Susan G Komen for the Cure, Macy's, and Sparkletts. Numerous other Southern California businesses were also supporters of this event and were represented in the exhibitors row at the venue showcasing breast health information kiosks, breast cancer reconstruction experts, and beauty products from the aestheticians and plastic surgeons of Loma Linda University. All of the proceeds from the fashion show event will benefit research and education efforts in the Center for Breast Reconstruction of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Loma Linda University.
The evening concluded with Dr Gupta thanking the audience and the volunteer team. He also made a call to action of the 750 attendees to spread the message of awareness broadly and to return to the next Pink Runway on September 29, 2013. A surprise, live performance by all of the models called for their final curtain call ended the evening. http://www.thepinkrunway.com