The fight against Yeneh Machlah is personal for Binghamton University student Jessie Rubin and her family, who shared their stories at Chabad at Binghamton’s girls-only fashion show Thursday evening.
The women of Sigma Delta Tau sorority, Eta Zeta and the Fashion Club joined Chabad to sponsor “Fashion for a Cure” to raise breast cancer awareness and celebrate women who have battled breast cancer.
“Tonight’s event is about raising money for an important cause, raising awareness, about womanhood, femininity, bonding, and friendship,” said Rivki Slonim, director of education at Chabad. “Also, it is about the strength and fragility of womanhood.”
Rubin, a senior majoring in English, spoke at the event along with her mother and grandmother. Her grandmother, Natalie, has been a survivor of breast cancer for 23 years and her mother, Melanie, was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and again in 2006.
“Breast cancer is something real and something that needs to be talked about,” Melanie Rubin said. “I’m lucky I’m a survivor. If I had just one wish, I would wish that not one more person would be diagnosed with cancer.”
Jessie Rubin’s speech focused on how it is important for women to be active in learning about their family history with cancer. She said women should perform self-examinations and ask their gynecologists about mammograms starting at ages 35-40.
“The best way to learn about breast cancer is to be a little scared,” Jessie Rubin said. “These strong, beautiful women kicked breast cancer’s tuchus.”
In addition to the speeches and fashion show, the event offered a performance from the Binghamton Pegs, pink hair extensions, desserts, raffle prizes and a chance for students to purchase the outfits being modeled in the show.
For the first time, members of Binghamton University athletic teams modeled in the fashion show. Players from the BU women’s volleyball, soccer and tennis teams all strutted their stuff along the runway.
Outfits included both casual and formal wear. The casual category included differently styled leggings and sundresses, while the formal wear featured a number of dresses for a night out.
The show’s proceeds will go to Sharsheret, a non-profit organization that specializes in providing support to Jewish women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Last year we raised $1,800 and we will hopefully beat last year’s record,” said Cari Snider, a junior majoring in graphic design, and a design intern for Pipe Dream, who helped plan the event.
Rachel Hollander, a senior majoring in anthropology, modeled in the fashion show.
“I chose to participate because Sharsheret is a great organization that helps fight breast cancer and I’m honored to be a part of it,” Hollander said.
Danielle Napear, a junior majoring in psychology, said the personal stories added to the event.
“I thought it was a great event,” she said. “I enjoyed hearing about the Rubin family and liked how the sports section was added to the show this year.”