Show of Spirit

Melissa Kossler Dutton, Capital Style

When the models in the Key to the Cure style show hit the runway, emotions run high.

The cancer survivors who strut the catwalk relish the opportunity to feel attractive and powerful-while simultaneously raising money to help others.

"It's profoundly moving," said model and cancer survivor Cindy DeWitt. "There's such a feeling of hope and optimism during the show."

Friends and families in the audience cheer and cry.

"The audience just goes wild," said Carla Smith Jones, marketing director for the show's sponsor, Saks Fifth Avenue. "You are here and you're working that runway."

The local event is part of a national Saks Fifth Avenue campaign to raise funds for and awareness of female-related cancers. It benefits the Columbus Cancer Clinic, which provides services to people who can't afford to fight cancer. "It's for women who otherwise would have to choose between feeding their children and getting a mammogram, or paying a utility bill and getting a mammogram," Smith Jones explained.

This year, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the style show, organizers are holding the Oct. 16 event in the center court of Polaris Fashion Place. In addition, Saks will donate 2 percent of total sales made between Oct. 20 and 23 to the clinic. Since 1999, the retailer has donated more than $30 million toward cancer research and treatment.

Key to the Cure Style Show

When: Oct. 16 at 6 p.m.

Where: Polaris Fashion Place center court

Cost: $65



Although Heather Pick never walked the runway in Key to the Cure, she eagerly supported the fundraiser because it benefited one of her favorite causes-the Columbus Cancer Clinic. Before she died of breast cancer in 2008, the beloved Channel 10 newscaster asked her friend and co-worker, Angela An, to emcee the event. "The cheering and applauding and hooting and hollering for these women-I was just in awe of how much spirit there was," said An, who continues to emcee. While Pick was blessed to have the support and money to deal with her treatment, she wanted to help families who didn't, An said. "As a friend," she added, "I want to make sure the things she fought for, people continue to fight for."