Celebration of Hope coming up

Barbara Hootman

One of the biggest fundraising events for cancer victims is only a few weeks away. Hope Chest for Women's "Here’s Hope” is coming up Oct. 22 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Asheville Event Center, 991 Sweeten Creek Road in Asheville.

Hope Chest for Women gives financial assistance and educational support to patients with and survivors of breast and gynecological cancer in Western North Carolina.

A $50 ticket provides the purchaser with a delicious lunch of locally grown foods catered by The Chef’s Kitchen from Ingles and the “Latest for Fall” fashion show featuring Asheville Outlets' clothes modeled by local breast and gynecological cancer patients and survivors. There will also be a silent auction, raffle and live music.

At the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville in 2014, Marilyn Walker of Black Mountain models an outfit during Hope Chest.

“Our fourth annual 'Here’s Hope' event is held to continue to raise awareness and funds to benefit Hope Chest for Women,” Denise Goodson, a volunteer member of the Here’s Hope board of directors and production team for the event, said.  “This is our largest and best-attended fundraiser of the year.  Each model will share her story as she walks the runway.  Hope Chest for Women (a nonprofit organization) reaches out to women in the community who need financial assistance with medical bills for cancer treatment, rent, utilities, food and gas cards to get patients to treatments. Sadly, many clients of Hope Chest are just a few dollars above the poverty level and are disqualified to apply for local and state government assistance.”

Goodson is a breast cancer survivor of more than five years.

“I always want to share my story with others to give them the same hope that was offered to me when I was at my lowest,” she said.  “I want to give back through my volunteer work as a board member and advocate for women who are just barely hanging on through faith and courage.  Nobody else in the community does the work that Hope Chest for Women does.”

Marilyn Walker, a local advocate for women suffering from breast cancer and other related diseases, will canvas the Swannanoa Valley for donations for “Here’s Hope.”  She does not have cancer, but she has taken care of her mother and brother who recently passed from the results of pancreatic cancer.

“The experiences with my family suffering from cancer have given me the empathy needed and the desire to help others battling the disease,” Walker said.  “I want to speak for those who cannot advocate for themselves including cancer victims and animals."

For more about “Here’s Hope,” contact Pat Fugate Hock at Hope Chest, 708-3017. For more about Hope Chest for Women, visit