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Sorority Raises Money for Breast Cancer Support

Alpha Epsilon Phi sister Monica Rosenblatt, the face of this year's Ribbons on the Runway fundraiser for Sharsheret. 

In 2004, a sister in Emerson College’s chapter of Alpha Epsilon Phi organized a fundraiser for Sharsheret, a breast cancer support organization for Jewish women, after another sister’s mother was diagnosed.

Twelve years later, that fundraiser, Ribbons on the Runway, is going strong, and will be held this year at the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common on Sunday, April 3, 4:00 pm.

Sharsheret is unique in that it focuses on supporting the woman battling cancer and her family in a holistic and personalized way, said Lea LeBlanc ‘17, Ribbons on the Runway event chair.

“As sisters of the sorority, we understand a system of support for one another,” LeBlanc said.

Ribbons on the Runway centers around a fashion show featuring clothing from local boutiques. Participating lines this year include LF, Crush Boutique, Max & Riley, Pinkyotto, Injeanius, Reiss, Steven Alan, and Fred Perry. The fashions will be modeled by students selected through a casting call held in February.

This year, the Newbury Street staples will be joined by a student designer, Pilar Duralde ’17, whose creations are rather ‘on the nose’. Or, more precisely, on the breast.

“She designs sweaters with breasts on them, very apparent breasts, and we thought her style spoke to what we’re raising money for,” LeBlanc said.

In addition to the fashion show, the event will feature music supplied by jazz musicians from Berklee College of Music and Justin Hochmutch ’17, who will DJ the runway show. The Emerson Dance Company, of which LeBlanc is a member, will perform, and a breast cancer survivor from Sharsheret will speak.

The Ritz will supply hors d’oeuvres and non-alcoholic beverages, and attendees will be able to bid on live auction items, including a stay at Yosemite National Park from Scenic Wonders Inc., and signed Bruins memorabilia.

LeBlanc said this year’s Ribbons on the Runway has been the most collaborative yet, and she’s “proud” to share it with the Emerson community.

It also has a personal resonance for her.

“My aunt is a survivor as well, so that makes it much more meaningful to me,” LeBlanc said. “I’m so proud to be honoring her, as well as so many other women who have been affected by this disease. So when I’m up at 4:00 am writing emails, it will be worth it.”

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students with ID, and can be purchased at the door. All proceeds will benefit Sharsheret.

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