SAN BRUNO, CA — Elegant dresses were showcased by beautiful Pinays walking the runway.
As the cameras flashed, and music filled the air — the crowd enjoyed every bit of the sold-out fashion show / fundraiser.
$12,000 was raised at “Catwalk for a Cause” to help two groups that serve underprivileged Filipinos — the Precious Heritage Orphanage, which caters to the street children in the Philippines, and the SF-based Pilipino Senior Resource Center’s Filipina breast cancer support services program.
This was a first event of its kind, co-hosted by the San Francisco Bay Area Ateneans.
“In the past, we haven’t done fashion shows. Me personally, I’m not an expert on fashion shows, there’s nobody in the Ateneo group that’s necessarily a fashion expert, but we found a group of friends who are good in that area. Gia, in particular, and she did it for us,” said Steve Leonardo from SF Bay Area Ateneans.
New and old collections were showcased by Pinay designer Gia Galicia, and Galicia pitched the idea of a fundraiser to the Bay Area Ateneans, because her advocacy of helping Filipino children and those affected by breast cancer is very personal to her.
“Sad as it may sound my husband’s mother passed away from breast cancer, and my sister-in-law is also a victim of breast cancer,” Galicia, founder of Share+Give, said. “And I spent an afternoon with the Precious Heritage Children, and that just melted my heart.”
The fundraiser was also personal for executive director of the Pilipino Senior Resource Center, Cecil Ascalon.
“My youngest sister actually died of breast cancer six years ago. She was only 34 years old,” said Ascalon. “And so when the board of PSRC invited me to be the executive director, actually, I couldn’t say no.”
The PSRC works with other breast cancer organizations and the San Francisco general hospital in providing breast cancer care education, support, navigational services, transportation for medical appointments and other services.
“We try to refer them to other friends where they give wigs, bras, hats, so many things,” said breast cancer survivor Betty De Guzman.
With the success of the fashion show, organizers say they are considering to make it an annual event.
“I just want to be able to help people,” shared Galicia. “Of course what inspires me is not only beautiful outside, but beautiful inside.”