The Breast Cancer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit organization in Greenwich, Connecticut whose mission is to improve survival rates and quality of life for individuals with breast cancer. The BCA raises money through various fundraising events, and invests in new research, education, and provides support to the underserved, according to breastcanceralliance.org. Last Sunday, the BCA’s Junior Committee hosted its annual fashion show, which included four students from Sacred Heart Greenwich, to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.
The BCA’s Junior Committee is a branch of the BCA that allows a group of high school students from Fairfield and Westchester counties to participate in educating their peers and raising money for the BCA through fitness events, a spring fashion show, and other activities.
After she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, Mary Waterman founded the BCA in March 1966. She wanted to help women fight breast cancer through research, health education, and early detection. Stage four breast cancer is when the cancer has spread beyond the breast to other organs of the body, according to breastcancer.org.
The Junior Fashion Show Brunch and Silent Auction took place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Richards, a retailer of designer clothing, located at 359 Greenwich Ave in Greenwich, Connecticut. Twenty-two students from schools in Fairfield County and Westchester County participated in the fashion show, and many guests attended the event to show their support for the cause.
Richards and Carnegie Pollak, a private tutoring and test prep center for students, presented the event. The media sponsor for the event was Cottages and Gardens, a magazine publisher in Norwalk, Connecticut. To prepare the models, who were local students, for the runway, Maison D’Alexandre, a beauty salon in Greenwich, styled the models’ hair and applied their makeup.
Sacred Heart seniors Jackie Shannon, Pau Barbosa, and Megan Doherty, along with sophomore Elexa Wilson, are on the BCA Junior committee and walked in the fashion show. Jackie wore a Veronica Beard blue and white floral midi dress; Pau wore a Helmut Lang black cold shoulder top and M Missoni multicolor dot skirt; Megan wore a Jitrois blue cyan suede cutout dress, and Elexa wore an Elizabeth & James black chain dress and Nour Hammour black fringe leather jacket.
Elexa has been a member of the BCA’s Junior Committee for the past three years, and it was her second year walking in the spring fashion show.
“[The Junior Committee’s] job is to promote the [BCA] organization in our schools and to our friends. For example, earlier this year we hosted a civvies day at Sacred Heart Greenwich,” Elexa said. “I have known many people that have had breast cancer, and have survived. I also know of others that have died from it. From a young age, I have been in awe of what this organization does for [those diagnosed with breast cancer]. I couldn’t be happier and more blessed to be part of such an amazing organization.”
The other Junior BCA members attend neighboring schools, such as Greenwich Academy, Greenwich High School, Brunswick School, Greens Farms Academy, King School, Stanwich School, Rye Country Day School, and Fox Lane School.
The current Executive Director of the Breast Cancer Alliance Ms. Yonni Wattenmaker has been working with the BCA for almost seven years after joining in June 2011. Ms. Wattenmaker’s grandfather, who was a breast cancer survivor, inspired her to join the BCA. Additionally, growing up Ms. Wattenmaker knew many women who were diagnosed with the debilitating disease. Sunday, she spoke in front of the crowd of spectators before the fashion show.
“[The BCA’s] grants literally change and save lives. Whether it is helping a woman get the help she needs despite her financial situation, funding the fellowships that get new breast surgeons into the field, or supporting critical early-stage research, it all makes a difference,” Ms. Wattenmaker said.
– Christine Guido, Staff Writer
Featured Image by Christine Guido ’20