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Wine Women & Shoes

Charity event combines fashion and fun for gynecological cancer research

By Michelle Martin

Approximately 500 women came together for an afternoon of fashion and fun at the 2014 Wine Women & Shoes Atlanta, held September 14 at the InterContinental Hotel–Buckhead Atlanta. The event, presented by Northside Hospital Cancer Institute and Diamond Stiletto sponsor Northside Radiology, helps promote awareness of gynecological cancers and support GYN cancer research at Northside Hospital. Each year, more than 90,000 women are diagnosed with gynecological cancer in the United States.

Wine Women & Shoes Atlanta raised more than $ 50,000 for GYN cancer research, through proceeds from the "Key to the Closet" raffle featuring items valued at more than $16,000; live and silent auctions; live donations; and donations from a portion of sales at the exhibitors' marketplace. Money for cancer research was also raised through votes cast for the event's favorite "Shoe Guys," who gave attendees an up-close look at must-have items "served" on silver platters.

Attendees of Wine Women & Shoes enjoyed wine tastings from some of the country's top winemakers as they shopped the latest trends in women's shoes, clothing, accessories, jewelry, beauty and skin care. Women were encouraged to embrace the theme of the event by wearing their most sensational shoes. Prizes were given for "Fabulous Flat," "Sassy Sandal," "Wonderful Wedge," "Sexy Stiletto," and "Best in Shoe," with the "Best in Shoe" winner showcasing her standout shoes on the runway before the main fashion show. The fashion show featured the hottest styles in women's (and men's) clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories, followed by "Couture for a Cure," organized by fashion designer Isaac Spry and Catwalk Productions CEO Randi Layne. The "Couture for a Cure" featured unique fashions made exclusively for Wine Women & Shoes by Atlanta designers who have a personal connection to cancer prevention. Each of the designs was auctioned off for the event, with proceeds going to Northside Hospital Cancer Institute.

Cynthia Good, founder/CEO of Little PINK Book and a former anchor with Atlanta Fox5 TV, served as mistress of ceremonies for the event. Dr. Jacob Spanier, a licensed OB/GYN for 59 years, was honored for his commitment to the care and treatment of women. A founding member of Northside Hospital's medical staff, Dr. Spanier retired from Northside Hospital in June after delivering his last baby on May 23. "Like Northside Hospital, my goal as a physician always was to provide quality of care," he said. "I have a great affection for Northside Hospital. Your presence here today helps a lot (in Northside Hospital Cancer Institute's research)."

Gay Lenner was invited to share her personal story as Wine Women & Shoes' featured survivor. Lenner recalled being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011, at age 55, after experiencing many of the classic symptoms: feeling tired, bloated and full after eating only a few bites. "I have had five surgeries and four hospitalizations throughout my battle with ovarian cancer," she said. "Tomorrow, I will go for chemotherapy. It is part of my new normal. But, I am not just a statistic. I am not just a patient. I am a person. Your presence here at Wine Women & Shoes and support of Northside Hospital Cancer Institute gives ovarian cancer survivors like me hope to get through the day and hope for a cure."

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Photos courtesy of Phil Henderson