Fundraiser’s message: Cancer shouldn’t kill friendships
Melange will be turning up the heat at this year's cancer fundraising event with a host of talented local acts, including a limbo dancer, violinist and singers.
The seventh annual event will be kicking off at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club on Pomander Road, Paget on Saturday from 7pm until 10pm.
This year's theme is: ‘Cancer Shouldn't Kill Friendships' — an issue close to Melange founder, Renee Carter's heart.
While battling through her first bout of breast cancer, Ms Carter remembers there were some friends who stayed by her side during her illness, while others weren't able to handle the stress and hardship involved. She said: “Cancer shouldn't kill friendships and whereas the other girls on the Melange team were embraced by people in their life, it did hurt some of my friendships and my marriage.”
Other relationships, however, were strengthened through it, she said.
“With my first ordeal, which was an aggressive cancer, some friends stepped in to take care of my daughter and it gave me time to focus on getting better.
“It was a gift and I owe so much to them in an indirect way that I try to make sure I live right so whatever they sacrificed for me wasn't in vain.”
This year's bash is expected to be one of the charity's best yet, thanks to local entertainers like limbo dancer Markita Joel, violinist LaTania Ellerbe and singers Kevin Gibbons, Mallissa Furbert and Olivia Hamilton.
Two inspiring guests will also speaking on the night, including Kerry Judd, who will share about a close friend's battle with cancer, and Dr David Green, the Clinical Director of Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre, who will talk about the latest updates in breast cancer research.
The event would not be complete without a raffle giveaway and silent auction, featuring art work and jewellery, as well as hotel, spa and golf packages. There will also be dinner on offer and dessert provided by Amber's Rum Cakes, Malika Dill and others.
HOTT 107.5 Radio host Nikita Robinson will serve as Emcee for the night, while DJ Julz will be spinning music on his turntable throughout the evening.
Proceeds raised from the event go to cancer charity PALS and the Lady Cubitt Compassionate Association (LCCA).
Saturday night will also be bittersweet, as Ms Carter prepares to step down as the head of the Melange charity, in order to focus on other efforts going forward.
She said she has treasured her time with the group and all the people she has met in the community over the past seven years.
Melange is expected to continue in the future, thanks to support from the charity's board.
Ms Carter said she hoped people would come out in full force this weekend and take a moment to honour those fighting the disease.
“Our main goal and focus with this event is to celebrate them,” she said. “We have people attend who have fought the battle, people currently going through it and those who need to be more aware that when you hear the word ‘cancer' it doesn't have to represent death.
“We want this event to be a reason to celebrate as much life as we possibly can. It's really about celebrating where we are and where we are going every day because there are always advancements in cancer therapy and research and we are beginning to utilise them.”
From feedback she has received, the event always leaves people with a sense of hope.
This year's sponsors include: Kane, KPMG, Belco, Meyer Group of Companies and many others.
Tickets to the Melange cancer fundraiser are $40; and can be purchased at the door of the event.