A passion for fashion sparks cancer fundraiser

By: Elizabeth Scussel | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published June 19, 2013

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — It was a concept that kindergarten student Mia Morelli was too young to comprehend at the time. So when her mother was in and out of the hospital, it was simply explained to Mia that her mother was having health issues in her armpits.

It wasn’t until Mia was a few years older that her mother, Sandy, and father, Kenny, explained to Mia what was really going on — her mom was battling breast cancer.

“It was scary at first when they told my brother and me,” Mia said. “But suddenly, things began to make sense. We were always active on weekends with cancer walks and Relay for Life events. I began to understand why.”

Mia is now 13 and grabs any opportunity to do her part in the fight against cancer. Her latest endeavor is a fashion show fundraiser called Catwalk for Cancer. Mia will model in the show in support of her mother.

“I actually want to be a designer, so I was excited about the fashion show from the get-go. I also get to do this on behalf of my mother, so this has been extra exciting for me,” Mia said. “More and more people are being impacted by cancer. We are doing this so other people don’t have to go through this, too.”

The fundraiser will be held 11 a.m.-2 p.m. June 27 at the Heathers Country Club in Bloomfield Hills. Proceeds from the event will benefit breast and prostate cancer support. General admission tickets to the show are $50, and VIP tickets are $75.

Current sponsors of the show include McLaren Hospital, Doctors’ Hospital of Michigan, Jacobsen’s Florist, Roma Sposa, Neiman Marcus, Tender and Lilly Pulitzer.

“It’s not your typical fashion show. Attendees can expect a one-of-a-kind, fabulous, high-fashion runway show,” said event chairperson Lindsey Ferguson. “With the exception of two, all models in the show are from a professional agency. The show features a fabulous brunch, wonderful prizes and young models walking in honor of breast cancer patients.”

Ferguson, 19, of Bloomfield Hills, is working alongside classmates and longtime friends Daisha Martin, Sydney Rich, Daina Hill, Candace Nagia, Jacqueline Shandler and Lindsey Burwell.

“The entire Bloomfield Hills community is excited to come together and help,” Ferguson said. “I love that everybody is coming together to help support the cause. The most important thing is giving back and trying to help all of the people who have suffered from breast and prostate cancer.”

Mia’s mother — whose cancer is currently in remission — could not be more proud of her daughter.

“I am so amazed and so proud of them. They are always asking, ‘What can we do to help?’” Sandy said. “The kids are always doing something for cancer. With what they are feeling and what they are taking on — they will make a difference.”

For more information on the show, send an email to lferg5990@gmail.com.