Five Towns Jewish Times
August 20th

By Tammy Mark

HJ108797 (2)While many of us are basking in the last lazy days of summer, the creative minds behind Couture for a Cause are hard at work planning the next big event. On October 27 at Temple Israel of Lawrence, Couture for a Cause will be hosting their fifth event filled with fabulous fashion, great prizes, dinner, and a few surprises. This year’s event will benefit Sharsheret, the national not-for-profit organization supporting young women and their families facing breast cancer.

Founded in 2001, Sharsheret has grown from a local support group to a national organization, having responded to more than 45,000 breast and ovarian cancer inquiries. Sharsheret has been an invaluable resource for women and their families at every stage, and has touched many lives close to home. With the tragic passing of founder Rochelle Shoretz this year, Elana Silber was recently named new executive director, and Couture for a Cause is ever more committed to helping Sharsheret remain steadfast in its mission.

In the past, Couture for a Cause has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various charities all over the world, and every special cause inspires the CFAC team to make each fundraiser more successful than the last. This year, they are thrilled to announce that the event will feature an appearance by Christian Siriano, fashion designer and red-carpet favorite. Christian rose to fame after winning the design-competition show Project Runway. His glamourous designs can be found throughout high-end boutiques and at some of the finest retailers in the world. CFAC will be awarding Christian Siriano the “Designer of the Decade” award for his involvement in CFAC and his beautiful designs that often cater to our community.

CFAC has been “Putting the Fabulous in Fundraising” since 2007 and was initially founded by Esther Coco Berg and Michal Weinstein as a fun way to raise funds for a childhood friend’s cause. The two were struck by the outpouring of support of their friends and donors. Realizing they could further use their talents and passions towards the goal of making a difference in people’s lives, they brought other like-minded creative women on board and set out on their mission to help others.

CFAC’s reach is growing and now includes close to 50 volunteers, including recently added co-chairs Breezy Schwartz and Sharon Langert, each bringing their own skills to help create more engaging and noteworthy events. CFAC’s last event attracted the attention of the late comedienne Joan Rivers, who donated her time to participate in a VIP event. The higher level of exposure not only brings additional funds and awareness to the chosen charities but has an added benefit of helping local businesses as well.

Michal Weinstein, a graphic web designer and marketing pro (www.mlwdesign.com), loves bringing people together for charitable causes and finds it very gratifying to work with like-minded businesses and individuals. “I’m so proud of how much money we have been able to raise for so many worthy causes. We are always so happy and amazed with the outpouring of support from businesses all over that want to get involved in any way possible. The amount of chesed that goes on in communities all over is astounding.”

The CFAC raffle committee, headed by Breezy Schwartz, the owner of Breezy’s (www.BreezysNY.com), has amassed an impressive lineup of high value prizes that include a $2,000 Moncler winter coat, a $5,000 wig courtesy of Shevy Wigs, a romantic night on the town from Secret Me Lingerie, and a dinner for 10 at the highly anticipated Cork and Slice restaurant. Azamra DJ and Jerry Meyer Studio will both be contributing their time and talents, and the evening’s dinner will be catered by glattkosher Foremost Ram Caterers. Birch Event Design will create the most unique staging for the fashion show while models walk the runway in designs by Pink Label and Zoe Ltd.

Esther, a stylist best known as @estherandsasha with over 100,000 Instagram followers, brings her expertise to oversee the event’s fashion show. As a brand ambassador for businesses big and small, she has turned a passion into a full-blown career, and values any opportunity to combine fundraising with her love of fashion and social media. “Social media is a stage and the world is our audience. My Instagram has played such a positive role in helping me spread my love for fashion, philanthropy, and building Couture for a Cause. Social media shows no signs of slowing down and neither do I.”

Fittingly, a brand new element of the event for this year will capitalize on the engagement of social media. Sharon Langert of fashion-isha.com and the wildly popular instagram page @Fashionisha, will be running the contest for Favorite Jewish Instagram Fashion bloggers currently lighting up the internet. Online voting is open and those who vote and share will be entered to receive $100 in raffle tickets. The winner of the “InstaStyle” award will be announced at the event.

There are several other fun ways to help spread the word and support Sharsheret: Specially designed Limited edition CFAC shirts will be available for purchase exclusively at the Emperor’s Old Clothes in September (570 Central Avenue), and custom water bottles will be available at Studio Inna by the end of August (1040 Broadway), with proceeds benefiting Sharsheret.

Tickets are now on sale for the event. The last event was an overwhelming success,which sold out within a few days. Michal recalls fielding countless calls from family and friends who had waited to purchase tickets only to find it sold out; the venue was filled to capacity six weeks before the event. This year’s event promises to be even bigger and better. There are limited sponsorship spots still available and as well as opportunities for prize package placement.

To purchase tickets, or for more information and sponsorship opportunities, visit Couture for a Cause at www.coutureforacauseny.­com. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for fashion, fun, and fundraising!

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