2013 was a turning point in Catwalk history. The event moved to Michael Waltrip Racing in Cornelius, NC and afforded the opportunity to add more guests. With 550 in attendance, the foundation was able to raise $100K for Levine Children’s Hospital. The finale video was a first, but has become a much anticipated addition. The footage includes our Catwalk Heroes, a trip by Martin & Sherry to Levine Children’s Hospital oncology floor and fun with the nursing staff all put to the music of Katy Perry’s “Firework.” The runway finale had our models and our heroes carrying sparklers while dancing carefree on stage. Not a dry eye in the house.
In 2010, Sherry (Martin’s girlfriend) came to him and asked how he would feel about hosting a fashion show to raise money for pediatric cancer. Sherry had a friend whose daughter Soleil had been diagnosed with a rare stage II Neuroblastoma at 3 years old. Sherry and Martin saw first-hand the struggles a family goes through emotionally and financially when a child is battling cancer: Catwalk for a Cause was born. The inaugural event hosted 50 guests and raised $10K. This enabled a Special Needs Fund to be established at Levine Children’s Hospital for financially deserving families. The instances are numerous each year for families already struggling with the high costs of cancer treatment when, unexpectedly, something non-medically related goes wrong and there is no extra money. No one should have to make a choice on replacing a home water heater or cover the cost of a treatment for their child fighting for his or her life.
We are so grateful to our sponsors, businesses and continued ticket purchasers, without all of you we could not continue the mission of helping families dealing with Pediatric Cancer. Less than 4% of the national cancer research budget is allocated to childhood cancer research, we are striving to change that.